Dave Shepherd made a successful return to long-distance competition today when he won the open men’s event at the Victorian Long Distance Championships. It was the first significant long distance race he has run in more than a year following a serious ankle injury, but far from struggling with the distance, he kept his nose in front of Simon Uppill over the first two-thirds of a physically demanding 15.1 km course, and then pulled right away over the closing stages to win by nearly four minutes. Uppill held on to second place ahead of Rob Walter, another who surprised with his endurance over the closing stages.
Kathryn Ewels totally dominated the W21E race, falling only a few seconds short of winning every split as she took the race by nearly nine minutes. It was a lot closer behind that, but in the end a good second half saw Susanne Casanova repeat her second place from yesterday, ahead of Shannon Jones.
Two more home wins for the Victorian came in the elite junior classes. In W20E, Aislinn Prendergast finished at the top of the field, although Bridget Anderson came close to catching up at the end. Leon Keely got on top early in M20E and ended up three minutes ahead of Lachlan Dow, who edged out another local in James Robertson.