JUST 20 runners braved the “toughest half-marathon in Australia” yesterday morning, taking on the Brackenbury Classic.
Committee for Creswick member Andrew Young warned that the track is “not for the faint-hearted”.
The trail ran through forest surrounding Creswick and included multiple altitude climbs.
Brackenbury veteran Graham Cartledge is familiar with each bump and climb of the course, having competed in the event for almost 20 non-consecutive years.
“It’s roughly the same track since I began running it. I have run a lot in the past and I can’t remember a run harder than this,” said the 57-year-old, who came third in the half marathon.
The glory was all for Andrew Creer, crossing the line in one hour 33 minutes.
“It’s a good run, it’s nice that it has climbs and hills,” Creer said.
“I prefer it a bit more here because it goes up and down, so it changes the momentum of the run. I hate hills less than most people.”
At nine years old, Xanthia Chatham was the youngest contender, coming second in the five-kilometre event at 35 minutes.
Xanthia sped ahead of her mum and said her love of running had started in school cross-country events.
Michelle Hawkes took the 10 kilometre victory in 52 minutes 19 seconds.
“It’s a great social thing. As you get older it’s still a challenge and it’s good to be out in the bush. It’s very demanding this run,” Hawkes said.