Olympic aspirant Liam Adams equalled his own course record and took out the first ever ‘battle of the sexes’ in the 10km event at the B&E Hobart Run the Bridge.
A record 3112 participants lined up in the three events on offer, including the B&E 10km, Hobart Jeep 5km and Ralphs Bay Storage 1km.
Adams is now the only three-time winner of the event, as he outkicked Commonwealth Games marathon champion Michael Shelley and Olympic steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell.
Mitchell led the race until 500m to go, when she was gobbled up by the leading men as Adams and Shelley fought it out for the win and gave men the first year bragging rights for the new 'Battle of the Sexes’ concept.
“I thought she had us. I saw her with a km to go and thought nah we’re not going to get her and that it was a battle between Michael and I for second place but he really pushed me and we somehow caught Vicky,” Adams said after clocking 29:03.
The multiple Australian representative was thrilled to add another title to his growing collection in what many considered the best 10km field Australia has seen in decades.
Shelley was just a stride behind Adams in the end, running 29:05, while four-time Olympian Craig Mottram placed third in 29:37.
For Mitchell, the women’s crown came as a bonus, as she initially came to race at an athletics event.
London Olympians Eloise Wellings and Jess Trengove pushed the pace, as the lead women began 4m 12s in front of the men.
“I sat in the pack, then going up Rosny hill Eloise and I broke away. I got ahead, she then injected more speed going over the bridge and got ahead of me. I just rolled down the hill, got ahead of her and ran strong.
“For some reason coming off the bridge, I just kept feeling alright and kept going. It was one of those races that actually came together,” she said, after finishing in 33:33.
Milly Clark placed second in her first race since running an Olympic marathon qualifier in October. She clocked 33:55 to beat home Trengove by four seconds.