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Raced in a scorching temperature of 29degC, it was not only the heat competitors had to overcome — the first three finishers had to do an extra lap when a lap counter missed a lap and called them to do another. Anderson accepted the error, saying things like that happen.
The race began with fourth-ranked Anderson forming a leading group with the Hill City-University trio of Tim Bolter (top ranked), Alistair Richardson (second ranked) and Oliver O’Sullivan (third ranked).
Going into the final five laps, both O’Sullivan and Richardson having fallen off the pace, Anderson looked to up the tempo in an attempt to break away from Bolter.
As he crossed with four laps remaining Anderson held a 6sec lead on a determined Bolter. The margin remained the same until the final lap, when Anderson found another gear, still mustering enough energy for a sprint down the home straight to the finish, and claim the title in a time of 35min 25.36sec, a personal best by 1min 15sec.
Anderson described the heat during the race as being "absolutley brutal".
"You’d just be trying to concentrate on your rhythm and you’d get absolutely blinded by the sun. You couldn’t think for a couple of seconds and you’d have to snap back into it. Any other day I’d call this a cracker."
But knowing Bolter would take him down to the wire and having been beaten by Richardson last weekend in a 3000m race, Anderson knew all too well winning was never going to be easy.
"I’m pretty damn happy with that, considering I was injured most of the winter.
"I’ll probably chill out for the next couple of weeks, and work back into it after that."
Bolter finished second in 35min 44.61sec, with Richardson third in 36min 41.03sec.
Bella Bloomfield (Hill City-University) took a conservative approach into the race to win the open women’s title in 38min 10.04sec, and give herself an early birthday gift. She turns 25 today.
It has been a successful year for Bloomfield, who in September won the Otago Marathon title to go with the Otago 5000m and 1500m title she won on the track earlier this year.
In other events, Kaikorai premier rugby player Kieran Fowler and Hugh McLeod-Jones (Hill City-University) had a battle royal in the discus and shot put events.
The two leap-frogged one another throughout the competition, McLeod-Jones only getting the nod in the shot put with his sixth and final attempt with a put of 14.20m. Fowler finished second with 13.71m.
It was much the same in discus competition with McLeod-Jones throwing 46.06m in his final throw to surpass Fowler’s best throw of 44.01m.
Holly Robinson (Taieri) celebrated her Commonwealth Games selection earlier in the week by winning the senior women’s shot put with 10.36m.