ROREY Hunter turned up to Sunday’s Edgell Jog with not only a victory in mind but a new race record as well.
He didn’t just break the race record. He demolished it.
Hunter raced clear of training partner Matt Dempsey on Esrom Street and never looked back, winning the 7.5 kilometre race in a time of 22 minutes and 40 seconds.
The winning time smashed the previous record of 23:30 set in 2015 by Jordan Gusman.
For a first-time runner who wasn’t even certain where to make turns on the course Hunter looked like a man who knew the Bathurst route like the back of his hand.
“I think those hills really separated us. He [Dempsey] was doing the early work and I was able to draft off him a little bit, and felt a bit bad about that,” Hunter said.
“Those hills were tough though and you had to be fit to overcome them, and we both ran really well.
“I was running a bit blind out there, looking at my watch wondering how much longer there was to go. I didn’t really know what to expect. I was just out there pushing hard.
“I’ll definitely try to be back next year. It’s a great event so why not?”
The signs were there in the opening kilometres that a new race record was on the cards when Hunter and Dempsey flew out to a lead of almost half a kilometre at the foot of Esrom Street.
On any other day third place runner Mitch Williamson, from Orange, would have looked like a winner but the leading duo were on another level.
Before the halfway mark Williamson was already 400m behind Hunter and Dempsey.
At the second climb on Esrom Street, approaching the right turn onto Mitre Street, Hunter began to put distance between himself and Dempsey.
Heading past Assumption School it was evident the early work had taken its toll on Dempsey. With around 100m between the top two runners it was going to take something special to make a comeback.
However, that gap continued to grow on the dash down Lambert Street and by the time the duo made it to Centennial Park there was almost a full block separating them.
The only thing that was going to stop Hunter from claiming the record was the tricky ascent to the finish along Russell Street, but he conquered it with ease.
Dempsey also finished under the previous track record mark with a 23:18.
Williamson was all alone from the opening stages right through to the finish line. His 25:36 was easily enough for third place – more than two and a half minutes clear of Tom Harder (27:12).