Notching up his second win for the year, in form runner Paul Atherton took the warm conditions in his stride last Saturday in taking out the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s Garry Rice Handicap.
Run over a 5000 metre course at Dadswells Bridge, Atherton beat home a field of 17 senior runners in a time of 21 minutes and 6 seconds. In a personal best for the flat but demanding course, Atherton dropped 41 seconds off last year’s time.
He didn’t have it all his own way though, having to work hard to pass Ilana Jorgensen in the home straight, then hold off a fast finishing Nathaniel Warren.
Warren also pasted Jorgensen close to home to finish second only 8 seconds behind Atherton. Jorgensen was then hard pressed to hold out last weeks winner Gary Howden for third place, with Howden only 4 seconds behind.
Jade Merrett ran a time of 19 minutes to record the fastest time of the day. Ilana Jorgenson was the quickest female in a time of 23 minutes and 17 seconds.
In the junior 5000m event, Nat Watson was once again pushed all the way by Daniel Faravoni to record his second win in succession, in a course personal best time of 20 minutes and 54 seconds. A Watson family dual with father Stan also spurred Nat on, as both juniors and seniors ran the same course, with Nat beating Stan home.
Back marker Faravoni ran superbly to finish 18 seconds back in second place, while Emma Kelly also put in a good run to finish third.
Faravon ran the third fastest overall time for the day was the fastest junior boy in a time 20 minutes and two seconds. Fastest junior girl was Emma Kelly with a time 23 minutes and 48 seconds.
Sub-junior Elly Barnett chased hard from the start, catching the front markers only 100 metres from the line to win the 1500 metre handicap.
Somer Darnell was only 7 seconds behind in second place, while Kye Merrett was another 7 seconds back in third place.
Liam Scott was the fastest sub-junior boy in a time of 5 minutes. Elly Barentt was the fastest sub-junior girl in a time of 5 minutes and 43 seconds.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Garry Rice for providing the excellent afternoon tea.