Two new faces dominated a wild and windy night one of the Flaggy 5 summer series.
After a two-year hiatus, due to COVID-19 restrictions, keen runners lined up at Flagstaff Hill on Wednesday to take on the dashing five-kilometre course.
It took just 18 minutes and 13 seconds for the first runner to return to the finish line, with Tom Inverarity taking home the race win.
He was soon followed by Brendan Paterson (18.47), before a young David Boyd (20.31) crossed the line minutes later.
Ballarat-based Inverarity said it was his first time running the Flaggy 5 as he visits town to see family.
"I was hoping to do around that (18.13) particularly with the wind, I was quite happy with that," he said.
Typically a long-distance runner, Inverarity recently ran the Melbourne Marathon where he beat his personal best time "considerably".
In the women's stakes, Harriet Aggett (20.44) finished with the fastest time, with Alicia Boyd (22.27) and Joy Arundell (23.51) rounding out the place-getters.
Aggett, who moved to Warrnambool in September, was also a first-time Flaggy 5 runner.
A keen cyclist, Aggett has gotten back into running in recent years. She said she was "quite surprised" to see her time in the end.
"I wasn't too sure what to expect tonight, I had a baby 10 months ago, so I'm just getting back into it again," Aggett said.
"I wasn't sure how fast the legs would go, but I'm pretty happy with that."
With thunderstorms forecasted for Wednesday, no rain was to be seen, though windy conditions appeared to hamper a return for some runners.
With a chill in the air, just 43 participants taking part in the run.
We've got another two coming up on January 12 and 19 starting 6pm.- Peter Molan
Warrnambool Athletics Club vice president Peter Molan said it was exciting to see people return to support the event, though it had fingers-crossed for better weather during the final two runs.
"We couldn't do it last year, but we're back again," Molan said.
"Unfortunately the weather's not so swell, but hopefully, we've got another two coming up on January 12 and 19 starting 6pm, so we're anticipating having quite a few more runners."
Molan encouraged people to come down and enjoy the summer music and food on offer at Flagstaff Hill post-run.
"We work in conjunction with Flagstaff Hill, so people pay for their run, get that in and then can sit on the hill and have a drink and something to eat and enjoy the music," he said.
The cost each week to participate in the Flaggy 5 is $10 per individual or $15 per family. Payment can be made by card.
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