GEELONG runner Brenton Rowe smashed the Surf ‘T’ Surf 10-kilometre record on his way to back-to-back wins yesterday.
Rowe finished the gruelling hill-laden course in 30 minutes and 18 seconds, slicing 12 seconds off the previous record.
The result bettered his 2013 win by 31 seconds.
Rowe, 26, said he was “stoked” to notch a new course record.
“(I will) try and break it again next year which could be a bit difficult,” he said.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Steve Moneghetti clocked 32.11 to finish second.
A Warrnambool trio — Kris McCartney (32.56), Tom Hynes (33.03) and Clinton Hall (33.31) rounded out the top five.
Rowe, who has represented Austria at international level, said the course was “tough as always”.
Competitors battled winds which heightened after the fun run.
“You’re pretty much going downhill or uphill the whole way,” Rowe said.
“It is good though. It gives you a goal every so often to get to the top of that hill and then you get a downhill and there is some respite.
“If you can find somebody to run with it’s good.”
Rowe broke away early and kept Moneghetti at bay.
“At the top of the hill I basically took the lead, so quite early on after the first half-a-kilometre I guess,” he said.
“Steve broke away shortly after that from the next group and he ran solo to finish second.”
Rowe will switch his focus to the Australian domestic season and his pet events — the 1500 metres and five kilometres.
An Achilles injury consigned Moneghetti to the role of spectator in 2013.
The Ballarat-based athlete, 51, said he was pleased to be back running.
“I think walking up here I thought ‘how lucky am I to be back running at this level?’ so I said to myself just try and enjoy it today,” he said.
“You can watch Brenton run and break a record — he’s one of the best runners in Australia — or you can be out there and running with him.
“It’s great to watch him ply his trade while you’re doing the best you can following him.”
Moneghetti, who admitted feeling “tired in the legs”, was full of praise for Hynes.
Hynes, 16, made it back-to-back fourth place finishes.
“Tommy ran really well today. He is getting quicker and I’ve noticed he is shooting up as well,” Moneghetti said.
“He is such a shy little kid but he’s a great little fella.
“If you can come down and give some of those guys encouragement, well they are the future.
“He loves his cross-country and I think he’d be a really good cross-country runner.
“While a lot of focus now is on road racing, it’s really cross-country and track where the elite athletes come through, so if he continues to do that, the sky is the limit for him.
“He has got a great build for a runner and he’s a tough little fella and they’re pretty good qualities to have.”