Huon Hill run great fun for Jesse, who won

JESSE Featonby has tuned up for his next assault on the international triathlon circuit with a 3½-minute win in the Huon Hill Trail Run.

Featonby covered the almost 14-kilometre run in a tick under an hour, dodging kangaroos and cattle along the way.

Luke Preston finished second in 1:02.57, Eamonn Staunton third in 1:06.39 and fellow triathlete Nathan Rodgers, 17, fourth in 1:09.41.

Julie Gollan-Foard add- ed another victory to a stellar career, clocking in 1:31.44 to win from Bree Robinson (1:33.11) and Belinda Daggett (1:34.11).

“It was great fun, ridiculous really,” Featonby said.

“It was really steep and up and down so you couldn’t really go hard at any stage.

“It is just so different to what I’m used to and in some places it was more like an obstacle course, but I like to support people who put on good local events.

“When we started there were kangaroos in front of us and then there were marshals steering us around the cattle.”

Featonby will head back to Osaka in three weeks to defend the title he won in Japan last year and then take part in round 5 of the ITU World Cup in China.

“I just have to keep chipping away at these races and building enough of a bank to go to Europe next year and compete in the world championship races,” he said.

Organiser Brendan Murray said they had doubled expectations with 77 starters.

“This used to be a series of events organised by the army and open to the public but when they dropped it this year we took it up,” he said.

“At the start of the week when we had 30 starters, I was happy with that and hoping to get to 40.

“The feedback has been overwhelming so hopefully we can make it even bigger next year.”