A decade after his last tilt at the Nail Can Hill Run, Patrick Stow has returned a champion. Stow, a former football player for Wodonga and Dederang-Mount Beauty, has taken top honours at the 11.3 kilometre run with a time of 37.45.
Second place overall went to Morgan Payne with a time of 42:16.
Victoria Mitchell was the women's winner, beating her own 2018 record of 42.46 with a time of 42.38 and placing third overall which is the highest a woman has ever placed.
Mitchell only returned to running last year after the birth of her child.
Having only been running competitively for three years, Stow has shown he has the knack for long distances.
A near breathless Stow said it was a great feeling to come down the final stretch leading the pack into the finish line.
"It's absolutely unreal, when you come down the hill and you come through here and there's people everywhere cheering, it definitely lifts you and it's great that we have community events like this back," Stow said.
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The run itself can be treacherous, particularly the first four kilometres where the steep incline can get the better of many competitors.
"The first climb is the toughest bit of the race so once you get off the first climb you've just got to roll the legs over and then you can work the downhills pretty well."
Stow won't be able to get complacent in 2022 however, as one hungry young runner will be nipping at his heels every step of the way.
At the age of 12 Alec Franzke shocked many with his third place men's finish, with a time of 42.42. Mitchell said she could barely believe it when she saw him crossing the finish line.
"I heard this cheering behind me with less than a kilometre to go and I opened up and started sprinting and I was so surprised to see that it was a kid, a 12 year old," she said.
"That boy is a prodigy."
To place in a race like Nail Can is itself a huge achievement, but even more so when you're not even a teenager and this is the longest race you've ever competed in.
"The longest I'd raced before this was park run which is five kilometres and my personal best in that is 16.46.
"I feel very good, I can't wait to do it next year," Alec said.
Event organiser Stephen Wood said it was great to be back after last year's cancellation.
"We're back to where we were and this gives us an opportunity to reset today and go forward bigger and better into 2022," he said.
"After coming out of 2020 when we couldn't run the event, what we've found this year is great support from the community.
"The spectacle of seeing our competitors running across the start line at Sentinel Road at 10 o'clock this morning was something that we'd missed last year very badly."
Darcy Wilkinson won the 15 kilometre men's mountain bike ride with a time of 37.12 and Kylie King took out the women's top spot with her time of 51.21.
Damian Gillard won the Ironman event with a time of 84.56 and Emily Trestrail posted a time of 123.37 in the Iron Woman event.