For many running enthusiasts the Dubbo Stampede is the final leg in their training journey before the world-famous Sydney Marathon.
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Emma Grey, who lives near Orange, took part in her second Dubbo Stampede on Sunday, August 21 - besting her time from last year to take out the top spot in the women's half marathon.
"It feels pretty good, I'm pretty tired but good it's a beautiful run," she told the Daily Liberal as she caught her breath after crossing the finish line.
Ms Grey finished the 21.1 kilometre Zebra Zoom in just over one hour and 26 minutes.
Her time was three minutes faster than second place winner Emma Fessey who crossed the finish line after one hour and 29 minutes, four seconds before Lisa Allen who took third place.
Now the pharmaceutical company worker is resting in preparation for the Sydney Marathon in three weeks' time.
"Dubbo's kind of a training run in the lead up to other runs including the Sydney Marathon," she said.
"Doing double that distance seems impossible after just doing that."
The Sydney Marathon takes runners across the Harbour Bridge and finishes at the Sydney Opera House. The event attracts over 40,000 participants from over 66 countries every year.
Dubbo Stampede men's half marathon winner Daniel Carson is also in training for the event, which will take place on September 17.
"I think my stampede result was a good result, it gives me a bit of confidence for the marathon," he said.
"I'm not going to do too much training between now and then, it's kind of tapering off from here. But I'll be eating a lot of carbs."
Mr Carson, who works for the Australian Energy Regulator, travelled to Dubbo from Canberra with a couple of friends to take part in the Stampede.
He crossed the finish line after just over one hour and 11 minutes.
"The Stampede was a lot of fun," he said.
"I ran it four years ago, but this year's time is a personal best."
Coming in second place in the men's half marathon was Gregory Kwaita'a Foasilafu, who clocked up a time of just over one hour and 17 minutes.
Kyle Rosevear came in third place, crossing the finish line after just under one hour and 21 minutes.
This year was the first time in four years the Stampede has been run on it's original route, after COVID-19 forced the event virtual and the track was changed last year due to flooding.
Dubbo Stampede vice president Katie Lyons said it was "fantastic" to see the event run as usual this year.
"The Sydney Marathon is in a couple of weeks and a lot of runners do this one as a warm up," she said.
"[The Stampede] is a very popular event on the running calendar and the Western Plains Zoo is a really special place to hold an event like this."
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