In near perfect conditions over a thousand athletes turned out to enjoy a jog, run and stride along Sydney Olympic Boulevard in the 2017 Greater Bank RunNSW Sydney 10. A few elite interstate athletes provide competition for the locals stealing victory in both events.

The men’s race was a tight battle with eventually just 33 seconds separating the top-7. Defending champion, Matt Hudson (RBH), along with Jack Colreavy (SYU) and Matt Cox (UTN), who had recently completed marathons were the favoured starters. But in the end Canberra’s Tim Lefroy was too good, winning in 30:10, from Hudson (30:13), Tom do Canto (30:30), Matt Cox (30:31) and Colreavy (30:37).

Lefroy, formerly from WA, considered conditions couldn’t have been better for the race and he responded with a 25 second PB for him.

“The race was pretty evenly paced,” Lefroy said. “Matt Cox lead for most of it (I saw his run at the recent Canberra marathon – really impressive). Matt kicked with 2km to go and I went with his move.

“It was a really good way to start winter.”

Lefroy, who previously was coached by Ben Green in Perth, but moved to Canberra in 2015 and joined Phil Saunders’ squad, handled the step up in distance well.

“I’m focussed mainly on the 3km/5km with a few 15’s in there too.”

Hudson defended his state title, claiming the 87th NSW Road Championships.

In the women’s race a relatively unknown athlete to the NSW running community, Victorian Alex Paterson, 22, won a close battle with Sydney Striders athlete, Marnie Ponton – 33:28 to 33:33. In third was Sydney Uni’s Danielle Allen with a time of 33:58.

Ponton, a former NSW cross country champion in 2008, took the NSW title.

“I was very pleased to get my 10km time down to 33.33 in preparation for my first proper road marathon at the Gold Coast in July. I have shifted all my focus to trying to run a quick marathon,” said Ponton, who is coached by Brendan Davies and she lives in the Blue Mountains.

Other winners on the day were Luke Bailey (30:40) in the open 10km wheelchair, while Julie Charlton won the women’s with 47:05. In the 5k, Wollongong’s James Seal took the race (15:37), while senior athlete Melinda Witchard won the women’s race with 16:53. In the 2.5km race, Imogen Stewart was first (8:46), while Isaac Shaw was first in the boys (8:50).

David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW