Bittersweet half marathon win for White
General - News
Local lad Tom White took out the Koroit to Warrnambool Half Marathon yesterday in honour of a close mate. Nineteen-year-old White, who crossed the finish line in one hour, 13 minutes, 32 seconds, said the loss of school friend Bill Browne in July made the win “bittersweet”.

“During school he was always encouraging me,” White said.

“He believed in me so it was good to do this race for him and for my family.

“I took a few weeks off after we got the news about Bill but I’m glad to be back running.”

White finished ahead of more than 160 competitors.

“I’m rapt with today,” he said.

“I looked at my watch with a kilometre to go and was confident of getting in with a good time. My family were at the finishing line egging me on which kept me motivated towards the end and even locals cheering me on along the way made such a difference.”

White said he has been clocking up 100 kilometres a week in training runs leading up to the race.

“I was confident with my ability heading into the race and knowing Vince McCarthy and Scott Rantall weren’t running gave me more of a chance at winning,” he laughed

It was White’s second Koroit to Warrnambool.

“Last time was four years ago and I ran in 84 minutes, so this time was a massive improvement.”

White said he would now focus on heading to Noosa at the end of October for another run.

Ballarat’s Jason Dalton, who finished second in 1:14.10, blamed the sunshine for making his run more difficult.

“I’m used to running in colder weather and this is the first day I haven’t run in the rain in a month,” he laughed.

“I wasn’t really aiming for any particular time but assumed I’d make around the 75 to 80-minute mark and to make 74 minutes was great.”

Warrnambool runner Jade Frankel finished third in 1:15.27.

Warrnambool Athletic Club president Peter Auchettl said competitors responded well to course alterations.

“I think the fact the race featured the rail trail drew a lot more competitor numbers,” he said.

“That section is easier on the legs and more downhill — it’s fast.

“The feedback from competitors was positive and hopefully next year the water has receded and we can run the full course.”

Runner Shane Ryan collapsed from dehydration just 100 metres from the finishing line. Auchettl said Ryan was taken to South West Healthcare’s Warrnambool hospital by ambulance for treatment.


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