Canberra schoolgirl Steph Torley stuns crowd with half marathon win at Carcoar

TERRIFIC TRIO: Dominic, Steph and Sam Torley made the trip up from Canberra to be part of the 2018 Carcoar Cup. Photo: NICK McGRATH
TERRIFIC TRIO: Dominic, Steph and Sam Torley made the trip up from Canberra to be part of the 2018 Carcoar Cup. Photo: NICK McGRATH

Steph Torley’s no stranger to winning races but that doesn’t mean every time the distance running phenom crosses the finish line in first place it doesn’t stun everyone else.

And that’s mainly because she’s still only 13.

The Canberra schoolgirl took out the Hotel Canobolas five kilometre run at the Colour City Orange Running Festival in February, but upped the ante on Sunday when she impressively took out the Carcoar Cup’s half marathon.

Torley was the first female to cross the line, and finished in the top 10 overall, with a time of one hour, 29 minutes and four seconds.

Her brothers, Josh and Sam, both ran in the half marathon, too, the former finishing second overall while Sam edged home his sister by a minute to run eighth.

The youngest of the Torleys at Carcoar on Sunday, Dominic competed in the six kilometre dash and posted a time of 26 minutes and eight seconds.

Steph said the conditions made for a tough morning.

“The hills and the heat … it’s pretty hot out there,” she grinned.

The teenager said she didn’t really worry about competing against more seasoned opponents. 

STRIDING OUT: Kevin Batt won the men's half marathon with a time of 1.06:53. Photo: NICK McGRATH

STRIDING OUT: Kevin Batt won the men's half marathon with a time of 1.06:53. Photo: NICK McGRATH

The two next best runners in the women’s half marathon were Danielle Hart (1.32:44) and Lindsay Norton (1.36:06), and both run in the 40-49 years category.

Torley finished over three minutes ahead of both Hart and Norton, and said her acceleration is one of her biggest strengths and she’ll continue to try and press for more victories over the half-marathon distance in the near future.

Overall half marathon winner Kevin Batt sped to victory over the 21.1 kilometres, winning comfortably with a time of 1.06:53.

For the Ryde-based runner, winning the 2018 event was about redemption.

The 27-year-old took a wrong turn during last year’s race, ultimately resulting in Batt finishing last year’s race in second place.

“It’s good to come back and go one better,” he said.

Batt represents a growing number of city racers who make the trek west for the Carcoar run and said the attraction behind heading bush to compete was about a change of scenery.

“A lot of the races we do are in the city. I saw this race as a reason to come out to the country, it’s good to support it and do something different other than the big road races in Sydney like the City 2 Surf … I’ll be back next year,” he said.