Bega’s Kyle Bourke has won the Bega Fun Run by about 30 metres from his nearest opponent.
Contesting the 10km run, Bourke was almost inseparable from Canberra’s Steph Torley in second and Bega’s Steph Auston in third about three kilometres into the course.
Run callers said the gap was still narrow at the six-kilometre-mark, and even leading into the final sprint Bourke held just the small gap from Torley to win in 37 minutes and 32 seconds.
Steph Auston’s 2016 women’s record of 37 minutes and 15 seconds came close to being under threat as Torley closed in on the finishing line in 37 minutes and 37 seconds.
Auston finished shortly after to claim the runner-up spot in the women’s standings, while another Bega regular in Steve Isles claimed second in the men’s rankings.
Fun run organiser Debbie McGufficke said online entries were down on last year, but there had been a steady stream of last minute entries and feedback had been fantastic.
“There was a lot of positive feedback so we’re really pleased,” McGufficke said.
“If people come and they’re happy with the event, that’s our biggest reward.”
“We made a few tweaks this year from constructive feedback after 2016 and that’s worked really well.”
About 150 people took the course across three events with about 50 contesting the 10km, a further 70 in the 5km and almost 30 facing the 2.5km kids’ dash.
Many of the 10km runners backed up for the 5km event with Bourke again claiming line honours, separated by just a few seconds from his nearest rival in Bemboka distance runner Keith Law.
Bourke crossed in the impressive time of 18 minutes 22 seconds with Law close behind on 18 minutes and 35 seconds.
Auston was the women’s winner in the 5km run, finishing close to her record time set last year – crossing the finish line in 19 minutes and 58 seconds.
McGufficke said Bourke, Isles, Law and Auston were already renowned local runners, but also commended Jody Collins, who finished third in the 10km and the 5km.
A shorter 2.5km kids’ dash also drew about 25 entries with Cleo Cook smashing the course in just 10 minutes and three seconds to claim the win.
Boys’ winner was Callan Mawbey in 10 minutes and 19 seconds.
McGufficke said the fantastic feedback from the community - and strong showing by the locals in the results – has spurred organisers on for organising next year.
Officials were also excited to welcome some newcomers for the fun run.
“Feedback was really positive so we’re meeting in a few weeks to start planning for 2018,” she said.