Local wins Great Southern Half-marathon four times in a row

Perfect day for running: A runner crosses the finish line.
Perfect day for running: A runner crosses the finish line.
Ready, set, race: Over 1000 people turned up for the Great Southern Half-marathon/10 km. Photo: Supplied.

Ready, set, race: Over 1000 people turned up for the Great Southern Half-marathon/10 km. Photo: Supplied.

Sunday, May 5 saw the running of the Great Southern Half Marathon and 10K around Aldinga Bay on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula.

The races are held over a unique and varied course, taking in sections of beach, Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park, wetlands, quiet back roads and the iconic Aldinga Esplanade - subject of those sweeping helicopter shots of the cyclists at the Tour Down Under every January.

Now in its fourth year, the event has grown from just 18 runners in 2016 to over 1100 entrants in 2019.

Traditionally held in July, this year's Great Southern was brought forward to May for the races to be run and for people to come and enjoy the McLaren Vale wine region and stunning natural beauty of the Fleurieu Peninsula in more favourable weather conditions.

The races were dominated by the Adelaide Harriers Athletics Club, taking out top spots for both men and women in the half marathon and 10K.

Paul Mulholland continued his dominance with his 4th win in the half marathon in a time of 1:15:58, whilst his son Cael won the 10K for the 2nd time.

There has not yet been a Great Southern male podium that hasn't been topped by a Mulholland.

The women's half marathon was won by Aleesha Robertson in a new course record of 1:23:04.

Belinda Richardson (winner of the 2018 half marathon) stepped down in distance to take the win in the women's 10K in 3rd place overall.

The inaugural Great Southern Team challenge (a competition where points are awarded for performance and participation) was won by Southern Athletic Club with a massive 89 finishers across the two races, taking home a $500 cash prize for their morning's work.

The event is not all about the front end of the field.

Matt Evans, Race Director said whether you are first across the line or just sneaking in under the 3 hour cut-off time, the Great Southern is all about getting people outside and active and enjoying this beautiful stretch of the South Australian coastline.

"Possibly the highlight of the morning's racing was the free kids run at 11:30.

"Almost 100 youngsters took to the beach to chase event mascot Sonya the Shark for 1500m before finishing under the main finish arch, emulating the achievements of the half marathon and 10K runners," said Matt.

Full results and photos from the Great Southern Half Marathon and 10K can be found at http://greatsouthernruns.com/

Later this year the McLaren Vale Running Festival will also take place in the Southern Vales.

The festival which is hosted by the South Australian Road Runners Club will feature a 21.1 km (half-marathon), 10 km and a 5 km.