Ararat and Stawell Cross Country

All three placegetters in the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club’s season opener last Sunday were surprised to finish on the podium in a race that has become an annual lottery.

Anthony Mellors won the five-kilometre Rhymney Reef Handicap from closest chasers, Andrew Reynolds and Keith Lofthouse, and said after the race that he had never given any thought to winning.

“You never know coming into the first race of the season what the others have done pre-season and you can’t even be sure about your own level of fitness until you actually race,” the winner said.

The club returns to Stawell on Sunday for a five-kilometre handicap, starting at 9.45am. 

Fun runners are invited to enjoy a free run.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Amy Yole easily won the five-kilometre handicap at only her second cross country outing with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club.

Her winning time of 29.12 minutes hacked an astonishing 4.40 minutes off her first-up effort the week before in conditions that could not be more extreme – from 32-degree heat one week, to rain and 12 degrees the next.

By the time Yole reached the sodden timekeepers, she had 1.43 minutes to spare from Horsham visitors Colin Barnett and Graeme Eldridge.

In the sub-juniors event at Stawell’s North Park running track, Chloe Hunter best defied wind and rain to defeat her determined chasers, Jerome Baker and Olivia Hunter. Race action moves to Concongella this Saturday for the 5.5-kilometre handicap.

Fun runners are welcome to come along and should meet at Concongella Hall from 9.30am.