Another Gunnedah Gallop has come and gone with Pete Loveridge notching up another win in the eight-kilometre race on Sunday.
While Loveridge expected to run slower than his effort last year, his freshness shone through as the Gunnedah runner shaved 31 seconds off his 2016 time to finish the 2017 race in 28:24.
Tamworth’s Steven Ballantine was second in 30:19 while last year’s runner up Daniel Nash was another minute back in third.
“I’m happy with that,” Loveridge said after the race.
“Part of me wondered if I could go under 28 but with one kilometre to go, I think that was off the cards.
“Then it was just making sure I didn't blow out to 29.”
Loveridge was joined on top of the podium with his partner Kelly Watson who took out the women’s crown in a time of 32:56.
Watson went one better than her 2016 effort to clock a time of 32:56 and win in front of Gunnedah’s Sophie King who finished in 34:57 while Dubbo’s Jodie Inder was next best in the female division with a time of 37:07.
Like it was for Loveridge, eight kilometres was a significant drop back in distance for Watson who’s in the middle of training for the Melbourne Marathon.
“It was tough today, I did a 30-kilometre training run yesterday and backed it up today,” Watson said.
“I competed in the Gold Coast marathon in July and the Beach to Brother trail marathon last week.
“That was in Port Macquarie and I got a win down there.”
With her focus locked on Melbourne now, Watson has a clear goal for the marathon in October.
“At the Gold Coast I clocked a 3:09 for the marathon so I’d like to better that if possible,” she said.
For Loveridge, it’s full steam ahead who’ll be straight back into competing this coming weekend.
“I’m going to run the triathlon in Forster next weekend,” Loveridge said.
“I’ve got a bit on after I hadn’t raced in months.
“I’ll get a bit busy as harvest comes around.
“I’ll a few races in before Christmas and that will be it til February.”
In the two-kilometre dash, Gunnedah’s Lucas Sardinha came out on top with Tamworth’s Jake Hudson in second while Gunnedah’s Flynn Newbery rounded out the podium placings.