Hundreds of runners took on the PS Pevensey in yesterday's Sweat vs Steam Fun Run in Echuca.By Luke McManus
Nothing but sunshine greeted hundreds of competitors taking part in the 15th annual Sweat vs Steam Fun Run yesterday morning.
Of the 716 registered participants, 669 converged on the starting line — across from the Bridge Hotel — ready to tackle the 5km and 12.5km events.
The day took on a different feel this year as the iconic PS Adelaide was announced as a non-starter due to mechanical problems.
It left its counterpart, the PS Pevensey, to compete in the 12.5km leg against some of the region’s elite talent, as well as the many paddlers who squared off in the 8km stage of the Echuca Mini Marathon.
YMCA Greater Murray chief executive Michael Bailey said this year’s event was ‘‘hugely successful’’ with funds raised expected to peak at $20,000.
‘‘That money will then be injected back into the community, through the YMCA foundation and special grants programs,’’ Bailey said.
‘‘The wonderful support which the Sweat vs Steam receives from the Echuca community makes the event what it is — we can’t thank everyone enough.’’
‘‘We’re lucky the weather gods put on a show for us. Everyone got out and really enjoyed it.’’
St Mary’s Primary School teacher Brady Threlfall claimed victory in the 12.5km race for the fifth consecutive year, arriving home in a time of 41 minutes and 25 seconds, more than four minutes ahead of his nearest rivals.
‘‘I’ve been training really hard recently in preparation for the up coming national championships, so the legs weren’t as fresh today,’’ Threlfall said.
‘‘It was all about winning, not so much about time.
‘‘I was able to relax and get a bit of a lead up early on, and then finish off strongly which was good.’’
Threlfall praised the YMCA and organisers of the Sweat vs Steam - an event which will always be an important race on the 25-year-old’s calendar.
‘‘It’s one race every year which I try and make sure I can get to, simply because of the community feel it generates,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s kids from school competing, it has a good field of competitors, the weather is usually great and I love the fact it’s local so I can mix with familiar faces.
‘‘That tops it off for me.’’
Seventeen-year-old Mark McQuillan came second in a time of 45:42, while Luke Crameri followed, taking 47:25 to complete the Scenic Drive/Crofton St loop.
Moama Anglican Grammar teacher Tarli Bird was the first woman across the line in 45:22, beating last year’s winning time by 34 seconds.
A gruelling third place finish in the Melbourne half-marathon just seven days earlier left Bird’s legs feeling ‘‘a bit heavy’’ during the course, but it failed to stop her finishing ahead of second and third placed Kate Pedley (46:44) and Melissa O’Dwyer (53:15).
In the 5km event, Bendigo’s Andy Buchanan smashed the field in a time of 15:26, while Rebecca Cladingboel snared her third women’s title in 21:02.
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