A BID to get fit for a school sports carnival put Tom Hynes on the path to becoming Warrnambool’s most promising young runner.
Tom has surprised his coaches and himself with stunning times in fun runs throughout summer.
The 15-year-old clocked 33.21 to place fourth in the 10km Surf ‘T’ Surf early this month.
He carried the momentum into the Warrnambool summer series, placing third in week one and second in week two — one second behind winner Clinton Hall.
The third leg of the four-week series, which uses a 4.8km course starting and finishing at Flagstaff Hill, will go ahead tonight.
Tom, an Emmanuel College student, said he had run for about seven years and had found a niche as a distance runner.
“School sports were coming up,” he said.
‘‘I thought it’d be a good idea to do a bit of training for it and kept doing it after that.
“Over the last year I was running more 37 minutes for 10km.
“It’s down to more 33.34.
“It has (surprised me) a bit.
“I’ve been training a bit harder but I didn’t expected I’d improve that much.
“I thought I might improve a bit.”
Tom, one of three siblings, said his training regime included running six times a week.
The distances vary, but he pounds about 45km each week.
Coach Roger Kennedy joins him for one session, but Tom pushes through the loneliness that is distance running the rest of the time.
“The benefits are really good for you, that’s one of the major things,” he said.
“I’m a lot healthier.
“And just the enjoyment, I guess.”