TWO for two. That’s the perfect Surf ‘T’ Surf record Shane Nankervis now boasts after winning yesterday’s 31st annual event in Warrnambool.
The Commonwealth Games runner remains unbeaten in the marquee 10-kilometre distance having won his only two attempts in 2000 and this year.
“I’m going pretty well,” he laughed after the race.
Nankervis led a record Surf ‘T’ Surf field of 1643, which also featured event ambassador Steve Moneghetti.
The Ballarat duo were in each other’s sights for the duration of the course, which wound its way from Lake Pertobe to the Hopkins River and back to the Warrnambool foreshore.
But it was the younger long-distance specialist who outclassed his senior rival.
“I’ve had many battles with Monas over the years,” Nankervis told The Standard.
“I didn’t want to get in a dog fight with him over the hills so I went out hard at the start to make him think that he couldn’t catch me.
“I guess I had the younger legs.”
Nankervis covered the course in a blistering 31 minutes and 12 seconds, ahead of Olympian Moneghetti’s 32 minutes.
Last year’s winner Nic Van Raaphorst, also from Ballarat, was third with a time of 33.28.
It was a promising return to form for Nankervis, 37, who has been nursing a left Achilles injury for the past 12 months.
“This is probably my first decent race,” he said.
“I’ve been injured for a while so I just wanted to get back into it with a low-key event.
“But it’s grown since last time I was here.”
Indeed, a lot has changed for Nankervis since his first appearance in the Surf ‘T’ Surf in 2000.
He placed seventh in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and has also welcomed two sons — Jesse, 3, and Jack, seven weeks — into the world.
Young Jesse gave his athlete dad a high-five when he crossed the line.
Nankervis later revealed his lively son was partly responsible for yesterday’s triumph.
“I had to win because Jesse told me I had to,” he said.
The three-year-old then insisted his dad take him for a ride on the motorboats around Lake Pertobe.
Nankervis is training for the Gold Coast Marathon on July 1.