EVEN by Jake Birtwhistle's lofty standards, yesterday was a special day.
In finishing third in the Launceston Ten behind Ben St Lawrence and Liam Adams, the Launceston teenager became the first Tasmanian to podium in a national 10-kilometre title, won his first open state title, finished ahead of London Olympians and knocked an enormous 74 seconds off his personal best.
To cap it off, he left with $1500 for coming third.
``I'm really happy with how I went,'' said the 18-year-old Western Suburbs runner.
``It's one of the highest quality 10km races in Australia, so I'm stoked to come home third and first Tasmanian as well.''
Having stuck with the main pack on the outbound leg, Birtwhistle outsprinted Ben Ashkettle and London Olympian Martin Dent as he reached his home town hall in 30:04.
Named the under-18 male athlete of the year at last month's Athletics Tasmania awards, Birtwhistle continues to juggle athletics with triathlon, the sport in which he will contest next month's world championships in London.
``Last year I went out way too hard here but this year I know I'm a lot fitter and kept pushing the whole way,'' Birtwhistle said.
``It's pretty exciting to be beating Olympians.''
Last year's leading Tasmanian, David Thomas, of Beechford, finished eighth, just a couple of seconds ahead of triple-Olympian Lee Troop.
Kate Pedley completed a Launceston double as first Tasmanian woman home.
The 29-year-old said she was stoked with the overall fifth place and a time of 34:55.
``I was hoping to get top 10 so that's really good,'' Pedley said.
``Going out was great but coming back into that wind was hard.
``I'm really stoked to be the state open champion, I feel like my training is coming along really well.''
Pedley said a 10km and half-marathon on the Gold Coast were her next assignments.