Burnie runner Andrew Rolls has confidently claimed the Professional Cross Country Club of Tasmania’s WT House Betta Living Steve Hanson Memorial Ace of Green Hills 8km handicap at Stanley on Sunday.
Hitting the lead with about 300 metres left to race over heavy water-logged grass track the backmarker powered away to win by over 20 seconds.
It was Rolls’ first win for over a decade after joining the club as a young 15-year-old back in 1999.
While it was frontmarker Louise Morse who led the field back into the Stanley recreation ground for the final sprint around the ground’s boundary, Rolls passed her just after they both appeared and then Devonport’s Rod Viney claimed runner-up with a couple of hundred metres from the line.
Morse has looked promising with some excellent performances recently while veteran John Purton led the field for the majority of the race after relieving go-marker John Lucas of the lead about two kilometres into the race.
Young Tobin Mason ran his best race of the season so far with a terrific effort that resulted in finishing just seconds off third place.
70 runners competed in challenging wintry conditions over the picturesque circular course that starts and finishes in the Stanley Recreation Ground and takes in surrounding pastoral hills, the colonial homestead of Highfield and finishes back in the historic Circular Head township.
The highly regarded Ace of Green Hills race is dedicated to the memory of past club member Steve Hanson and has been part of the club’s programme since 1977.
Cooee’s Dane Febey backed up a strong placing in the Devonport 10km a fortnight ago with another top ten position while Neville Sweetman dead-heated with co-marker Anna Murton just outside the first ten places.
Douglas Hamerlok recorded fastest time at Stanley, a feat he has accomplished in five of the past six years and Judy Ray, who crossed the line in fifth place, was quickest female.