The first two half marathon runners across the line in the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival were Clare Palmer and Dave Burgess.
The first two half marathon runners across the line in the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival were Clare Palmer and Dave Burgess. Brad Greenshields

Clare scores Running Festival win for the girls

FOR the first time in the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival's history, a female runner was first across the line in the half marathon.

Woolgoolga runner Clare Palmer finished the 21.1 run around the Coffs Creek Walkway in a time of one hour, 23 minutes and 58 seconds.

There was a gap of almost three minutes until the runner-up, Dave Burgess, crossed the line.

"I didn't think I'd be the overall winner, I was trying to get under 1.25 because that's my best for a half (marathon) so I was pushing it a bit," Palmer said.

Incredibly for Palmer, running today came as a mere afterthought as she ran a marathon only a week ago in the Dubbo Stampede, which she was also first across the line in.

The mother of six recovered well from the run though so threw her hat into the ring just before entries closed.

"I pulled up good so I thought I'll come and have a run, my kids are going to run in the 3km so I thought why not," she said.

"I had an easy week. I wasn't planning on coming here because I thought I'd be sore but I pulled up all good.

"It was only an easy week, just a few light jogs but I thought 'oh well, it will be a run'."

Run in what are perfect conditions for runners, Palmer and Burgess finished ahead of Andrew McDonald and Daniella Sansonetti with Henry Sheehan, Ed Brasier and Nathan Silvy following behind.



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