Dave McNeill and Sinead Diver completed a Melbourne double in the Launceston 10.
On a crisp, sunny morning ideal for running, the Victorians shone brightest with two-time Olympian McNeill storming away from former winners Liam Adams and Ben St Lawrence in the race’s third-fastest winning time of 28:54.60.
Irish-born Diver claimed the biggest win of her short running career by leading home Cassie Fenn and Eloise Wellings in 32:51.08 just four months after turning 40.
A delighted McNeill, who contested the 5000m at the London Olympics and the 10,000m in Rio, was delighted to claim a race in which he finished second seven years ago.
And within minutes of crossing the line, the 30-year-old, who three-time winner Adams had picked as his pre-race favourite, was heaping praise on Tasmanian race organisers.
“I’ve now won each of the Tassie big 10km races and I’m pretty proud of that,” he said.
“I’m super grateful to all the organisers, particularly this event. The Tassie events really are the best 10km runs in Australia and it’s always a great pleasure and honour to come and race them.
“We are always well looked after and I think in common with some of the places I’ve run all over the world, some of the best meets are in small towns where there’s not a major sporting team.
The Tassie events are the best in Australia
“I think there’s just a bit more inclination to get behind events like this and that’s definitely the case with the Launnie 10 and Burnie 10, and Hobart Run the Bridge. It just makes it that much more exciting.
“I hope to be back next year if the schedule permits.”
Diver, who has lived in Melbourne for 15 years and did not start running until she was 32, said she was “ecstatic” with her “perfect race”.
“I wasn’t expecting to win and was hoping to go around the 33 minutes so I’m delighted to go under that.”