St­ed­man gets the cash

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - by Antony Ste­wart antony. ste­wart@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au More pho­tos >> page 32

AS an en­durance ath­lete, run­ning un­der five kilo­me­tres at break­neck speed is any­thing but Sam St­ed­man’s idea of fun.

But t h a t d i d n ’ t s t o p t h e 27-year-old from ex­e­cut­ing an inch-per­fect race to cause a ma­jor boilover and win yes­ter­day’s hotly con­tested Townsville Road Run­ners Butcher on Bun­dock Dash For Cash in North Ward.

For al most 3 km St­ed­man bided his time. Then, when the mo­ment was right, he pounced.

He crossed the fin­ish line in 14 min­utes, 53 sec­onds, just three sec­onds ahead of for­mer win­ner Si­mon O’Re­gan.

Nar­rowly be­hind them were 2010 cham­pion Billy Bragg ( 15.01) and Tony Gor­don ( 15.07) in a red-hot fin­ish.

‘‘ We ran the first kilo­me­tre in t h r e e m i n u t e s , w h i c h i s in­sanely fast,’’ St­ed­man said.

‘‘ They put the pace on early, and set a crack­ing pace – I don’t nor­mally look at the times – but it’s pretty im­pres­sive when you can run that fast in that amount of time.’’

O’Re­gan, re­turn­ing to the race for the first time since 2008, set the pace for much of the 4.67km cir­cuit from Queens Gar­dens and led un­til around the 3km mark when the fol­low­ing pack stepped up.

While the Townsville-based War­rant Of­fi­cer fought on, it w a s t h e e v e r - i m p r o v i n g St­ed­man who found ex­tra legs.

The f i nish, which earned St­ed­man first prize money of $ 500, was more than a minute quicker than St­ed­man’s sixth plac­ing from last year and fol­lowed his tri­umph in the Aus­tralia Day Fun Run in Jan­uary.

‘‘ That was like a 100m sprint f o r a n e n d u r a n c e r u n n e r , there’s noth­ing fun about 5km,’’ said St­ed­man, who is train­ing for his sec­ond crack at the North Face 100, a 100km race, in the Blue Moun­tains of NSW in May.

‘‘ I’ve been do­ing some hard train­ing so it pays off at the im­por­tant part of that race.’’

In the women’s race, ris­ing Townsville run­ning star Isis Flynn-Pit­tar showed no teething prob­lems in her step up from the ju­nior to se­nior ranks to claim her own share of the sub­stan­tial prize money on of­fer. The teenager fin­ished ahead of Sa­van­nah Sense in sec­ond place and Monique Flores in third place.

James Maguire won the ju­nior boys race and Mart­i­nus Larsen the ju­nior girls.

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