A THIRD-time participant in the 14km City to Surf was the first runner home in Sunday’s foot race for the 124-strong team from The Armidale School, which fielded what was believed to be the biggest school team in this year’s event.
Year 11 student Saxon Hughes put in a superb effort to complete the event in under an hour, crossing the line in 59:37 and was the first runner home for the TAS team.
He finished in the top two per cent of the almost 68,000 registered runners who completed the race.
“I was really keen to crack under 60 minutes this year, so tried to get to the front of the massive pack that made up the blue category about an hour before the start so I wouldn’t have to dodge too many people. Then I settled into a good pace and only stopped for a drink once,” he said.
Training with cross country as his winter school sport and familiarity with the course helped.
“At the 45 minute mark I just put my foot down and went hard for the rest of the race. It helped that I had done it twice before which helped me know how to pace the course, except for the last kilometre as the finish was different to previous years.”
Competing for his fourth time, Jim Orr said the atmosphere is still as thrilling as the first time he took part.
“The atmosphere is always unreal, and the music was really cool on the streets. It was pretty hot this year, so whenever I came to a water stop I poured a cup over my head.”
First-timer Chloe Lawson relished the difficulty of the event.
“It was hard, but that was part of the fun, to see how far you could push yourself,” she said.
More than 80,000 people entered this year’s race, which went from Hyde Park to Bondi.
The event is part of a school award called the TAS Triple Crown, for those students who complete it, the 2km Coffs Harbour Ocean Swim and the 111km overnight Hawkesbury Canoe Classic during their time at the school.
It was also part of charity fundraising by the TAS student body which has raised almost $5000 this year as part of a goal to purchase two beds for the palliative care unit at Armidale Hospital.
The TAS team included 101 students as well as the school’s headmaster Murray Guest, other staff and several parents.
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