First-timers claim victory on the hill

Open 10km mens winner Jesse Featonby from Lavington and womens 10km winner Anna Thompson from Richmond.

Open 10km mens winner Jesse Featonby from Lavington and womens 10km winner Anna Thompson from Richmond.

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A WHO’S who of athletics and triathlon lit up the The Border Mail Fed Hill Challenge yesterday.

Challenge ambassador and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jodi Elkington presented the silverware to the winners, including triathlete Jesse Featonby and former Commonwealth Games runner Anna Thompson, who were first across the line in the 10-kilometre race.

It was the first time Featonby, who is now ranked inside the top 45 triathletes in the world, had taken on Fed Hill.

“I’d done most of the local fun runs but in recent years I’ve been injured so haven’t been able to do Fed Hill so I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.

“It was good to finally have a crack but it was a lot tougher than I thought.

“Nail Can is tough, I raced Huon two months ago — you seem to find every race with a massive hill in it and this didn’t disappoint.

“It was a challenge and I really enjoyed it.”

Featonby has had a big year of competition.

In July he won Japan’s Osaka ITU Premium Cup then came 12th in China in a World Cup race.

He’s now preparing for the Asian Cup in Japan next month before heading to South Korea for another World Cup event.

Featonby said Fed Hill was a good hit out for him after coming off a short break.

“Absolutely, when you come off the bike you’re then racing against everyone so it’s good to do these and get race ready,” he said.

“But I was hoping for a bit better time.”

Featonby finished in a time of 35:36.5, shy of the course record of 34:48 set in 2012 by Michael Hosking.

Finishing second was Wodonga’s Nathan Rodgers in a time of 37:47.7.

Thompson, from Melbourne, finished the race in 44:22.5.

Having represented Australia at two Commonwealth Games, Thompson took the course in her stride.

“I used to run a lot more but I still keep fit and run the odd race now and then,” she said.

“We were away for the weekend in Bright and this looked like a nice run — it was a nice bonus (to finish first), I didn’t expect it to be honest.

“I actually like these kinds of courses, they’re hilly and off road, they’re a bit scenic which keeps it interesting.

“So the 10 kilometres went quite quickly.

“Fed Hill is a pretty tough climb.

“It certainly gets the heart rate up, but I was relatively relaxed in the run, which was good.”

A star of the future, 12-year-old Sarah Egan, was the first female across the line in the five-kilometre run with a time of 23:15.7.

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