THE 10th anniversary of the iconic Bank of Us Run the Bridge was one of the biggest yet, seeing the largest ever field and a record-breaking time.
The event, held on Sunday 17 February, saw more than 3,800 people participate in the 10km, 5km and 1km runs, and a 5km walk.
The men’s 10km race was taken out by Olympic finalist Brett Robinson, who set a new course record of 28 minutes 30 seconds.
Mr Robinson finished ahead of Harry Summers and four-time winner Liam Adams, beating the previous course record of 28 minutes 57 seconds, set by Dave McNeill two years ago.
“I was happy to get the course record today,” Mr Robinson said.
“I planned to go hard and Harry Summers kept up with me the whole way, so we pushed each other and both ran quick.
“I couldn’t go any quicker, I was stuffed at the end.”
The women’s 10km race was led by a Tasmanian trifecta, with Launceston-based Olympian Milly Clark finishing ahead of Mel Daniels and Karinna Fyfe with a time of 34 minutes 28 seconds.
“Great things come in small packages and Tassie is a small package, so it’s good for us to be able to do that,” Ms Clark said.
Ms Clark, who has been carrying an injury for 18 months, said it was the furthest she had run in a long time.
“It was really fun to be around everyone again, so I’m very happy with the win,” she said.
“It was a slow start, but I just tried to hold it together before the bottom of Rosny Hill, then pushed on the way up and see what happened.”
Race director Richard Welsh said he was pleased to see such a high number of participants in this year’s event.
“This year we had more than 240 teams enter, either families, sporting groups, schools, businesses or charities – there truly is a distance for everyone,” he said.
Mr Welsh said the charity of choice this year was the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, but a number of donations were also made to community and sporting groups.
“With 67.5 per cent of Tasmanians overweight or obese, it’s important to have events like this to give people a goal to exercise,” he said.
“We genuinely want to see people getting healthier and want to play our role in encouraging Tasmanians to be fitter.”
Mr Welsh said Run the Bridge was one of the country’s more unique races.
“Obviously closing the state’s biggest piece of infrastructure is a big task and then giving people a once-a-year opportunity to cross it is very unique,” he said.
“We are the only event in Australia where the elite women start separately to the men – we call it the ‘battle of the sexes.’
“It’s been offered for four years now and the men lead three to one, with the first person across the line getting a bonus $2000.”
Mr Welsh said he hoped the event continued to grow in the future.
“As long as participation numbers are constant or increasing, we can continue to do creative things to make the event appeal to as many people as possible,” he said.
Caption: Milly Clark taking out the women’s 10km run.