Gauntlet is thrown down after run-fest

AFTER crossing the line to win his second event for the day, Half Marathon and Fun Five victor Ben Malby threw out a challenge to Tamworth Ten winner Pete Loveridge as another successful Tamworth Running Festival wrapped up on Sunday.

Peter Loveridge goes straight to the front in Sunday's Tamworth Ten victory. Photo: Geoff O'Neill 170814GOA11

Peter Loveridge goes straight to the front in Sunday's Tamworth Ten victory. Photo: Geoff O'Neill 170814GOA11

Malby is the first athlete ever to win two events on the day and remains the only ever winner of the half marathon after defending last year’s inaugural title.

The ultra-distance runner wants former sparring partner Loveridge to step up to the longer distance for a showdown next year.

“He needs to step up to the challenge,” Malby said.

“The showdown could be my final chapter.”

“I am going to keep coming back until I race Pete.”

Loveridge brushed off suggestions of the challenge claiming that Malby should step back a distance to the ten.

“He is still not happy after I beat him a few years ago in the ten,” Loveridge said.

The Gunnedah triathlete is a multiple Tamworth Ten winner and was chased home by first female finisher Stephanie Austin who finished second overall to take the women’s title.

Loveridge finished the Ten in 35.11 seconds as he prepares for the Hawaiian Ironman in October.

A top 20 finish in the Port Macquarie Ironman qualified Loveridge for the event.

A PB in the City to Surf and a Tamworth Ten title is just what the doctor ordered according to the athlete.

“It is a great lead up to Hawaii,” Loveridge said.

“It was a solid hit out and I achieved what I needed to achieve.”

“Running is my strong suit so I need to do some work on the bike now.”

The Heeney sisters finally put one over father Anthony, Ella beating him in a photo finish for second as Sophie took the title.

Following a win in the South West Rocks Marathon in June Tamworth’s Kelly Moore took out the women’s Half Marathon.

“I won the Tamworth Ten a few years back but I prefer the longer races,” Moore said.

A wet track wreaked havoc in the NDL Dash for Cash although the usual suspects took the titles.

Jake Hazel took a third men’s title from Russell Hooper and Mitchell Bath, while Lia Mills was a class above in the women’s to win from Reanna Austin and Jessica Morissey.

Alison Rumble took her third over 40s title while former Pirate back David Barnett showed he still has the pace winning the men’s.