Kyabram’s marathon relay runners caught the town by surprise when they arrived in Kyabram on Sunday afternoon, 49 minutes ahead of schedule.
Many people were anticipating a 4 pm finish to the relay, which started from Tullamarine airport at 1 am Sunday.
Kyabram Athletic Club coach Ian Whitemore said the relay would have been completed almost two hours ahead of the planned finishing time.
‘‘We took an hour’s rest at Corop and deliberately slowed down near Heathcote when it was realised we were well ahead of time.
‘‘We had a tail wind for most of the run but conditions weren’t good. It rained from the start to Tooborac and after we had got over the Dividing Range we had to encounter a frost.’’
Ian estimated at least $500 in sponsorship had been raised in the run which would go towards the establishment of an athletic centre complex in Kyabram.
Fifteen runners each ran a four-mile leg in the stage from Tullamarine to Heathcote. Athletes then ran varying distances until the finish.
Dr Peter O’Brien ran the final two miles and led the other runners up Allan St behind a police escort.