Sinead Diver debuts at the Launceston 10 with a shock victory against Eloise Wellings

SUPERSTAR: Sinead Diver crosses the line to take the ribbon in the women's 10-kilometre after breaking away from her rivals. Pictures: Scott Gelston
SUPERSTAR: Sinead Diver crosses the line to take the ribbon in the women's 10-kilometre after breaking away from her rivals. Pictures: Scott Gelston

The cheerful Launceston 10 podium finishers, barely hours after the race, were spotted jogging up and down Cimitiere Street enjoying each other’s company.

For the 2016 winner, the cool down was the first time on Sunday that Sinead Diver didn’t dare have to look over her shoulder.

The Irish-born Victorian in her maiden appearance entered the race with no expectations whatsoever.

Other than a repeat of the 2015 Eloise Wellings victory.

“When I started, I was just doing my own thing – I wanted to get a good time,” Diver said.

“So going fast, but keeping in control, and then I could see where Eloise was, but I didn’t think I’d catch her.”

Diver sat behind some 25 metres off the pacemakers that had included Wellings while still “keeping control” at the halfway turn on the Tamar Highway.

But she turned things around just 1500m later to complete an outstanding second five kilometres.

“I wasn’t sure whether to run with her for a while, but I just kept going because I was like ‘I am in a rhythm now’,” Diver said of Wellings.  

“When you're conscious of Eloise behind you, then you have to keep pushing because she’s got a strong kick.

“So I just put the foot down and, of course, thought she was right behind me – I didn’t look back at all.”

The confusion made worse when she heard a spectator yell out “Go Ellsy” on the home stretch, hundreds of metres from the tape. 

Diver, who ran a personal best in Hobart at the Run to Bridge in February, finished 58 seconds ahead of Queenslander Cassie Fien with Sydneysider Wellings falling back to third.

“It was nice coming home because there’s a bit of a downhill,” she said.

“So you can get a bit of speed up there.

“I’m interested in seeing what my last kilometre was because I have no idea.”

The 40-year-old’s shock result had more to do than just her years on the leading competition.

Diver will turnout at the London world championships in seven weeks time to represent her adopted Australia of the past 15 years in the preferred marathon discipline.

She currently holds the record for being the fastest Australian over the 42.195km distance for her age.

Rising 18-year-old Meriem Daoui crossed the line the first Tasmanian woman in the 10km event to incredibly take out sixth place.

The Hobart teenager had created headlines last year when campaigning ahead of the Ross Marathon to raise funds for Syrian residents affected in the war-torn nation.

The campaign contributed nearly $4000 to a GoFundMe appeal, but feeling inspired Daoui also won her debut race and shaved two and a half minutes off the previous record mark.