THE South Coast three and 10 was run on Saturday, September 12 with great performances on the track and fantastic cheering from the sidelines.
To quote one of the spectators "It was such a great atmosphere. I loved the sportsmanship, runners of all ages and abilities encouraging and supporting one another".
In the junior 3km event, Hamish McLaren went out fast and hard with Toby Dyball also charging off the start line.
However, a niggling injury for Hamish eventually wore him down and he elected to withdraw from the race.
Toby Dyball remained strong and crossed the line first in 11.20.
Cameron Baxter chased hard, giving the race everything he had, as did Oliver Baxter.
Both boys ran their shirts off - literally - with Cameron taking second place in 11.31 and Oliver third in 11.54.
Next home was Emily McLaren in 12.54 taking gold for the female under 15s.
Airlie Stevens was second in the girls' division clocking 13.13.
Harry Thomson flew down the final straight with a magic sprint finish taking fourth in the boys' event in 13.24.
Dakota Farn crossed in 13.38 for third in the girls' event followed closely by Myra Betts who clocked 13.42.
Grace Stevens was fifth in the girls with 14.39 and Noah Dyball pushed hard all the way to the line to take fifth in the boys in 15.35.
Next on the event timetable was the combined open and masters 3km.
Dan O'Connor sprinted off the start line but was soon passed by Cam Musgrove, who then maintained his lead for the rest of the race.
Cam made it look easy, taking gold in 9.48.
Will Dyball was second in 10.06 and not far behind him was Jake Pepper - clocking 10.35.
Next home was Nash Hay to take fourth in the open's in 10.50.
Marcus Baxter demonstrated where his boys get their speed from, taking the win in the master's division in 11.09.
Crossing in sixth place but taking fifth in the open's event was sprinter Lachie Kaszonyi, who certainly stretched his legs much further than his preferred distances.
Peter Dooley pushed hard for second place in the master's event finishing in 11.28, just short of his own record of 11.16, which he set in the 2018-2019 season.
Erin Smart had a record in her sight but didn't quite get there; clocking 11.55 for first place in the master's female event.
The record of 11.17 still waits to be broken.
Dan O'Connor ran through next for sixth in the open's in 12.20.
It was great to see Jade Mustapic back on the track running well for first in the female open's in 12.39, while teammate Ella Dyball was second in 12.47.
Sharyn Bryce was the epitome of resilience and persistence, pushing hard, despite a niggly injury, claiming second in the masters in 19.15.
Sharyn was elated to win her first ever athletic medal and stood proudly on the podium to receive her silver medal.
Congratulations Sharyn and to all their 3km runners.
In the South Coast 10, the Nowra Athletics Club had 11 starters.
After an initial false start due to a malfunction with the start timer, where Brad Sawyers made it around to the first bend before being reigned back in, the epic 25 lap race was underway.
Brad went out hard and took an early lead which he maintained, in fact, continued to increase, for the entirety of the race.
Brad lapped his competitors repeatedly, looking strong the whole time, taking the win in 35.15. Brad was satisfied with his run but did say "It does take a lot of preparing your mind to go round in circles that many times".
Chris Berendt was second home, taking gold in the masters in a good time of 41.03.
Chris was both a worthy and humble winner - stepping up from the silver he won last week at the COVID cross country championships.
Glen Mustapic took silver in the masters in 46.16, also, a step up from the bronze he won last week - although Glen was smiling too much for a 10km event.
Club president Scott Johnson then ran in fourth in 48.42 to take the masters bronze.
Dean Bryce completed the race with his characteristic cheekiness, having fun on the track as he went around and around and around.
Dean finished fourth in the master's event in 50.03.
Last, but certainly not least was Dan O'Connor who won silver in the open's event in 57.12 but deserved a gold medal for his heart and spirit because Dan completed both races on the day.
Dan has only been running for a short time and demonstrated amazing stamina and courage to compete in both the 3km and 10km with barely enough time to catch his breath in between races.
The first female home was Jackie Lyons in 48.50 claiming master's gold.
Sabina Hamaty took silver in 49.39 and Annette Sampson won bronze in 52.47.
Angela Bond was fourth in 53.59 and elated that it was finally over.
10km on the track is a mental challenge as well as a physical one but the music was pumping and the crowd was cheering to keep the runners motivated.
Some of the lap counters would argue their job was tougher than the runners, claiming "it was an extremely stressful job" but everyone managed to cap the 25 laps correctly.
Congratulations to all their competitors and thank you to the spectators and volunteers.
Track and field season will start on Wednesday, September 16 with the first night being a practice and 'try it out' night for anyone interested in coming to see what it's all about.
The proposed program will include 100m, 1500m, long jump, shot, discus and a 4 x100m relay.
The club looks forward to seeing everyone there from 6pm at Shoalhaven High School.
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