IT took 12 attempts at his local fun run but Tom Hynes finally broke through to write his name onto the decorated list of winners of the Surf 'T' Surf's premier event.
In previous attempts at the fun run, which starts and finishes at Lake Pertobe, Hynes has racked up a number of top-three placings but was always just short of claiming the win.
But on Sunday the 22-year-old Warrnambool resident blitzed the men's 10-kilometre field to cross the line three seconds past the 32-minute mark.
Tom Lyon (34 minutes and 11 seconds) was a further two minutes back in second while fellow Warrnambool runner Sam Ebney crossed the line in third with a time of 35 minutes.
Melbourne-based runner Sarah Bellchambers, who was invited by her south-west friend Mark Hayes to compete in her first Surf 'T' Surf, was the first female across the line in 37 minutes and 19 seconds.
She was closely followed by Warrnambool's Rachel Ayers (38 minutes and five seconds) and Alana Plymin rounded out the first three, finishing in a time of 38 minutes and 33 seconds.
Hynes, who recently finished a teaching degree, was happy with how his run went despite it not being one of his fastest times at the annual fun run, which has been running since 1982.
"I have had three seconds or so, so to finally get a win is good," he told The Standard post race.
"I felt eventually I would get one and a few of the better guys were away so that definitely helped but you can only race who is there on the day."
Bellchambers, who works as a clinical specialist in Melbourne, said the key to tackling the tricky and hilly course was sticking to her pre-race plan.
"You have to really relax down the hills and really make use of those and try and hold consistent as you are building up," the 25-year-old said.
The pair will now turn their attention to the Athletics Victoria track season before then shifting to the cross country season, which starts in April.
Hynes said he was a possibility to line up in the Terang fun run next month.
Bellchambers, who runs for Hunter Athletics Club, said her next plans after the summer athletics season was to prepare herself for the Gold Coast half-marathon, which is set to run on July 5.
Over 300 of the event's 800 competitions took to the start line and competed in the 10-kilometre event.
South-west Commonwealth Games marathon representative and Surf 'T' Surf ambassador Virginia McCormick (Moloney) was on hand to cheer on the runners as they crossed the line and later presented the winners' medals after the conclusion of all the events.
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