Wollongong athlete Russell Dessaix-Chin described his win in the Melbourne Half Marathon on Sunday as a sign of good things to come.
Dessaix-Chin produced one of the best performances of his career to win the race, which was part of the Melbourne Marathon Festival, and finished on the MCG.
Dessaix-Chin's winning time of 65 minutes 32 seconds smashed his previous best by a phenomenal 36 seconds.
He finished 1 minute 22 seconds ahead of second-placed Canberra-based, Ethiopian-born Gemechu Woyecha, while Dessaix-Chin's fellow New South Welshman Bradley Croker was third.
Dessaix-Chin and Woyecha took off and left the rest of the field behind as they battled it out for about 10 kilometres.
Entering the Albert Park part of the course, Dessaix-Chin got a break on Woyecha, and the Illawarra runner ran away with the race.
"It's my biggest win in a long time and a sign of good things to come," Dessaix-Chin said.
The program set by his new coach, Graham Ward, was starting to work and pay dividends.
"It just took a bit of patience. We started off earlier this year and things were going OK, and then I got injured and didn't do anything spectacular until pretty much now," Dessaix-Chin said.
"This is the best result of the year easily. It was a quality field."
Leading into the MCG for the finish gave Dessaix-Chin a special thrill, as did setting a new personal best in winning such an important race.
"I've been trying to crack 66 minutes for probably six years and I've been getting close," he said.
"It's been pretty frustrating so this is a huge weight off my shoulders to be finally out of the 66 minutes and into the 65s.
"It's been really satisfying actually to say I've got a 65.32 to my name.
"And I got to finish in the G. The atmosphere was incredible. The final 400 metres around the outside was actually on the grass on the MCG which was pretty special.
"When you're winning and the crowd's cheering you - the Victorians are about about their sport - the atmosphere was just incredible."
The short-term plan for Dessaix-Chin is to keep training for a marathon early next year, perhaps punctuated by some track events and the Zatopek carnival in Melbourne in December.
"It's just head down, bum up again for a bit," he said.