Bellarine Sunset Run passes with flying colours
OCEAN Grove runner Danni Rogan and Melbourne University XCR Club member Max Ueda took top honours in the marquee half marathon race of the Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run over the weekend.
For Rogan, it was her third title in three attempts, while Ueda was able to secure his second overall victory and his first since 2021 after finishing on the podium consistenly over the past five years.
More than 1,350 athletes took off from the start lines across three courses on Saturday – the Active Feet Half Marathon, Steigen 10km race and Bully Buster 4km run.
The ninth annual fun run took athletes and event first-timers along the coastal tracks between Portarlington and St Leonards.
Rogan won the women’s half marathon division with a strong time of 1:30:17, beating her nearest counterparts, Geelong Cats midfielders Zali Friswell and Nina Morrison, by more than nine minutes.
She said she was elated to win her third Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run title.
“It was a really tough run in some hot conditions, but I’m so stoked I was able to take it out,” she said.
“Those last few kilometres really hurt in the heat. I was just watching Cadel Evans’ calves the whole time. I thanked him for helping to lead me home!
“It’s a huge boost for me heading into the Great Ocean Road Marathon in May.”
Ueda steamed through to the finish line with speed, crossing the line with a blistering time of 1:16:36, the quickest time overall.
He had to work for his win and was pushed right to the line by elite distance runners Harry Cashin and Theo Langlois.
Tour De France winner Cadel Evans also finished in the top 10 overall in the half marathon.
Scott Krakouer and Emily Bartlett were victorious in the open divisions for the 10km.
Race director Dion Milne said the 2024 event would go down as one of the best yet.
“We were so pleased with how it went from a logistical point of view, and the vibe was also absolutely fantastic.
“It was definitely a hot one for our runners, especially because there was no breeze whatsoever compared to other years.
“To have Max win a second one after being on the podium five or six times was terrific, as was seeing Danni Rogan win her third.
“She’s such a great role model for our sport and is someone many in our community look up to.
“It honestly couldn’t have been any better; it was very special.”
For full results, head to Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run on the Tomato Timing website.