South Australia’s Isaac Heyne and the ACT’s Leanne Pompeani have taken top honours in this year’s Southern Cross University 10km Run.
For Heyne it was a breakthrough victory in a time of 29:03, while Pompeani [32:21] can now call herself a three-time winner of the event after finishing just four seconds astern of Lisa Weightman’s race record of 32:17.
Heyne says he didn’t have a pre-prepared blueprint for the race in which Hong Kong’s Wan Chun Wong [29:27] placed second and set a new Hong Kong national record with Arron Spiessberger-Parker from the ACT in third [29:33].
“I didn’t have a set plan, I just wanted to get to the 5km and see what happened,” Heyne said.
“But when everyone dropped off there, I thought I might as well go for it.
“There are a couple of U-turns on the course, which I’m not really good at, but they allowed me to see where everyone else was,” he said.
Heyne said he was happy to set foot on the Gold Coast course for the first time.
“I was ready to run last year but of course that didn’t happen, that was pretty cutting, so to come here finally and win is great.
“It was flat and nice with just a couple of little rises to break things up.
“It’s as good as any course I’ve ever run on,” he said.
In the women’s race Pompeani defeated NSW’s cross country specialist Paige Campbell by 14 seconds [32:35] and Victoria’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games marathoner Sarah Klein [32:52].
She said it was a win against the odds.
“I was a bit worried, because I had Covid nine days ago and I knew this was going to be a big challenge for me,” Pompeani said.
“But last night I thought I’ve gone to the trouble of travelling up here, so I might as well just go for it.
“I know [fourth placegetter] Caitlin Adams and Paige Campbell are running really strongly at the moment, so I gave myself permission that if I was running average, I’d pull out.
“But I felt OK and kept going once I got a gap and got the win,” she said.