Backmarker Thomas Wilson has won the Professional Cross Country Club of Tasmania’s West park Grove IGA Big Six 6km handicap in Burnie on Sunday followed by last week’s Feature Race runner-up Devonport’s Bryan Tuit with Kelly Baxter gallantly holding out Kyle Groenewege for third.
Wilson crossed the line some forty metres ahead of a fast-finishing Tuit, who also collected fastest time honours.
In Sunday’s rainy conditions, 69 runners assembled at the Howe Street Netball Courts to hear the starter’s instructions for a circular course that takes in pathways of West Park, along Parklands Bass Highway then tackling the challenging Brickport Road hill before finishing with a sprint down West Park Grove.
The Big Six is arguably the toughest short distance race in the PCCCT programme and it usually favours the backmarkers and strong hill runners and Sunday proved no exception with ten backmarkers among the first dozen to cross the line.
Veteran John Purton took the lead from frontmarker John Lucas before the long climb up Brickport Road but it was Kelly Baxter who led the field into the final kilometre.
The youngest runner in the field, 16-year-old Vicky Knapman, reached as high as third-placing with little over a kilometre to race and did well to maintain her pace to finish thirteenth while young Will Cleaver also ran well.
Rochelle Hammond and Sally Atkinson put in some great efforts in tough conditions while Louise McMullen registered the fastest female run of the day.
Earlier in the morning Chloe Bates, Lochie Riley, Mia Fehlberg all ran well in the nominated time event with Bethany Boyd predicting her time perfectly.