Gallery: Runners warming to Warrnambool summer series in record numbers

WARRNAMBOOL Athletic Club’s summer partnership with Flagstaff Hill is proving a boon for both organisations.

A record 229 runners took part in the latest 4.6-kilometre summer series fun run, which started and finished at the Merri Street tourist attraction.

The figure was up on the 193 who competed the previous week and reflects a “running boom” sweeping the region.

WAC president John Keats said he was astounded by the popularity of the summer series on Wednesday nights, which has two weeks to go.

“I reckon we’ve broken (the record). We’re very happy,” he said.

“It was a great night, the weather was great, it was enjoyed by all.”

Keats said there were two reasons for the bumper participant numbers.

“One there’s a real running boom going on and two, the joint partnership with Flagstaff Hill, a lot of people are staying behind and enjoying the music on the wharf.

“It’s worked for both of us. They’re getting people through the gate and people are enjoying exercise, then they’re enjoying the festivities.”

Renowned runner Clinton Hall was first home, completing the course from Flagstaff Hill to Granny’s Grave and back in 15 minutes, eight seconds.

He outsprinted the enterprising Tom Hynes, 15.09, although the 15-year-old has turned heads with his performances during summer.

“He’s a little legend,” Keats said. 

“He’ll be well and truly up there in years to come. He’s very competitive and it’s great to see.

“It gives the blokes something to strive for.”

Alison Wilson took out the women’s category in 17.33 and Shirley Hay was the first walker in 30.05.

“Last night there were a lot of tourists but a lot of locals so there was a good mix,” Keats said.

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