Adams leads home top field

THE streets of Launceston were yesterday used as a Commonwealth Games training ground as two runners bound for Glasgow took home the Launceston Ten honours.

Victorian Liam Adams, who will compete in the marathon at the Games, was the first over the line, in a time of 29 minutes and 25 seconds, with Matthew Hudson next quickest (29.56) followed by Jack Rayner (29.59), while New South Wales athlete Madeline Heiner, who will be in Australian colours in the steeplechase, was the first woman home.

She ran the 10 kilometres in a personal best time of 32.50, beating home Tara Palm (33.13) and Jess Trengove (33.52).

Heiner's effort was the sixth best time by a woman in the history of the event, with yesterday being the eighth time the race has been held since 2007.

Post-race, both Adams and Heiner, who collected the Oceania 10km championship on the back of their victories, said that they had used the event to  fine-tune for Glasgow.

Tasmanian runners also showed they could compete with the quality field, which included international contingents from Kenya and New Zealand, with two runners in the men's top 10 and one in the women's.

Launceston duo Josh Harris and Kate Pedley were the first Tasmanians home, and were crowned the Tasmanian 10km champions.

Harris finished sixth in a time of 30.06 and Pedley seventh in 34.50.

David Thomas (equal eighth with Olympic veteran Lee Troop in a time of 30.16) completed the Tassie trifecta.

The event, including the five-kilometre race and a kids' two-kilometre challenge, attracted 1950 people and was held in cool conditions with only a light breeze.

Patrick Smith (in 15.49) and Madeleine Fasnacht (in 18.08) took out the five-kilometre race, while Ben St John and Arabella Phillips were successful in the kids' event.

Organiser Rob Gillard said he was blown away by the crowd support, with Civic Square and St John Street around the Town Hall packed with people at the start of the race and every vantage point along the course also filled.

``Everything ran really smoothly for us and the introduction of the five-kilometre worked quite well,'' Gillard said.

``It was just fantastic to see the amount of spectators out there watching today, and we haven't had that before, thanks to the quality of the field, the Commonwealth Games and people who were just really keen to see how the Tassie runners went.

``This is an event that is just really growing.''

Launceston Ten men's winner  Liam Adams  breaks away from the field with Kenya's  Geoffrey Birgen. Adams went on to win the race in a time of 29 minutes and 25 seconds. Pictures: SCOTT GELSON

Launceston Ten men's winner Liam Adams breaks away from the field with Kenya's Geoffrey Birgen. Adams went on to win the race in a time of 29 minutes and 25 seconds. Pictures: SCOTT GELSON

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