Victoria University student and cross-country champion Liam Adams sprinted over the finish to win the 14-kilometre Sydney City2 Surf on the weekend, pipping his nearest competitor by only two seconds.
For Adams, 24, from Moonee Ponds, it was his first time to compete in the annual race between Hyde Park in Sydney's CBD to Bondi Beach, which drew about 80,000 runners this year.
Adams crushed Commonwealth Games champion and race favourite Michael Shelley's hope of winning the race with a sprint finish at Bondi Beach.
He was over the line in a time of 41 minutes and 11 seconds, a little off the pace of fastest race champion ever, Steve Moneghetti, who completed the contest in just over 40 minutes in 1991.
"I knew I had been training well, but I really didn't expect to win," he said. "This kind of race can suit cross-country runners because of the number of hills."
Adams, 24, a five-time Australian cross-country champion, was named Australia's top male university athlete in 2008 and 2010, the same years he won Victoria University's best male athlete.
A final year student in a Bachelor of Exercise Science (Human Movement) at the University's Footscray Park Campus, Adams was back at uni Monday morning to write an exam, but said he would defend his title again next year.
"It was a huge thrill and a great win, and I'll definitely return next year to do it again," he said.
Adams is heading next weekend to the national cross-country championships in Canberra, with a longer-term goal to secure a spot on Australia's athletics team heading to the London Olympics next year. As cross-country is not an Olympic sport, he hopes to compete in the 5000 or 10,000-metre event, or perhaps his first marathon.
Liam Adams is available for interview on 0401 028 304.
Ann Marie Angebrandt, Media Officer,
Marketing & Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 5487; mobile: 0403 556 001.