Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club to start milestone year

Runners compete in the Best Great Western Classic last season. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Runners compete in the Best Great Western Classic last season. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

STAWELL and Ararat Cross Country Club will jump into its 50th season with its first race on Saturday.

Long-serving president of the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club Neil Wilde hopes the success of recent events will provide a boost to the club’s membership

Numbers were high for Stawell’s first Colour Run on April 7 and there was also strong representation in Sunday’s Lindsay Kent Memorial Fun Run.

“It’s true that cross country racing on a variety of different courses is more competitive than fun-running,” Wilde said.

“But we wouldn’t have survived for fifty years without our runners enjoying years of fun through healthy competition.”

“We race under handicap conditions, which means the slowest can beat the fastest.

“Nothing beats the thrill of winning a race sash and receiving the congratulations of friends and family. “

Wilde said that eight members alone have had between 280 and 620 runs with the club so we must be doing something right.

“I’m disappointed we don’t see more lapsed or retired footballers and netballers joining us,” he said. 

“When Dale Hurley, one of the regions most decorated players retired some years ago, he joined our club and had instant success as club champion in 2012 and 2013.

“Sport needn’t end when you’ve played your last game or match.

“Our oldest member, Gary Saunders, is near enough to 75 and started in 17 of our 19 races last year.”

The club’s  season start with the five kilometre Rhymney Reef Handicap at the Rhymney cricket ground on Saturday.

Race starts at 9.45am with further information available by calling Keith Lofthouse on 5356 2493.

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