KRIS McCartney needed a bit of help from the crowd to post another win in the Noorat to Terang fun run last night.
The gun Warrnambool triathlete was lucky to be the first man home in the 5.92-kilometre event after he stopped 10 metres short of the finish line.
McCartney was unaware he had pulled up too soon but made a hasty dash after hearing the crowd yell “keep running” and fortunately did so.
He finished in 18 minutes and 50 seconds, just one second ahead of a fast-finishing Clinton Hall (18.51).
Emerging teenager Tom Hynes produced another stellar performance to take third in 19.04, ensuring the event had a Warrnambool trifecta.
McCartney, a multiple winner of the event, was at a loss to explain his mishap but joked “I’d had enough anyway”.
He praised the efforts of Hall and Hynes for making the event “not easy”.
Hall actually led for most of the race before McCartney made his move not long before the railway crossing on the Terang-Mortlake Road course.
The three turned into Baynes Street within seconds of each other, which made for a colourful finish — McCartney in blue, Hall in black and Hynes in red.
“He led most of the way and I was happy following that. It seemed like a good pace,” McCartney said.
“Then when I stepped it up a bit he seemed to be happy with that, which was a bit of a worry.
“I ran into a bit of a hole but I ended up having enough.”
McCartney said he would turn his focus to Warrnambool Tri Club’s inaugural South West Sufferfest this weekend, an event which presents a far greater challenge than what he faced last night.
Warrnambool runners also took the honours in the women’s event.
Ella Gill was first home in a personal best of 21.36 ahead of Alison Wilson (22.29) and Karen Benson (25.00).
Gill said she started too hard but was pleased with the time in her third year.
She said she relished the conditions, which were cooler than for last year’s race, which she also won but in a slower time.
“It was 37 degrees last year. It was really tough,” she said.
“Conditions this year were really OK. It was muggy but there was a bit of a tail wind.”
Gill said she enjoyed the community nature of the popular event, which again attracted participants from schools and sporting clubs.
She has her sights set on the iconic 13.2-kilometre Puffing Billy race in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges in May.
“I entered a few days ago. I just want to beat the train. The train crosses the course three times,” she said.
“I’ve never done it before but I’ve heard it’s hilly because of where it is.
“It’s a big race, there are 3200 people in it. I’d love to be in the top three (women) but I’ve had a look at the times and I’d have to run a lot faster.”
Terang’s Jill Cole was the first walker home in 35.03 ahead of Emma Smith (39.20) and Sue Adamson (42.30).
Organiser John Keane said 300 runners and 170 walkers took part.