Two sessions of acupuncture helped propel Nathan Baker to a surprise win in the ten kilometre Run For Ray Handicap at Stawell last Saturday, his first ever in a race of that distance.
A dedicated trainer and competitor, Baker was crestfallen when a hamstring strain forced him to rest and to miss three races with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club.
“You lose a lot of fitness when you have to stop for five weeks. It’s harder to come back when the races get longer because you need to work harder to get ready for those.”
Keen to do all that he could to accelerate the healing, Baker visited an acupuncturist in Stawell and noticed immediate improvement.
“The tightness in the hammy started to free up after the first treatment which was more than I expected. I was able to run ten kilometres to prepare for the race and that gave me some confidence.”
Reigning club champion Colin Barnett, also recovering from injury, was first to finish but Baker was right on his tail for all of the race and once handicaps were applied the margin favoured Baker by just under a minute.
Veteran Terry Jenkins, the pre-race favourite and last year’s winner, was third.
The Run for Ray is held in memory of Ray Scott, a former club president who died tragically whilst training alone in the Ironbarks Forest in 2010.
“I arrived in Stawell in the year that Ray died, but I know his story. I taught his son Liam at Marian College, and know Karl Scott (another of Ray’s sons) through the tennis club. Whenever I train in the Ironbarks and see his memorial out there.”
In the one kilometre Sub Juniors scamper, rookie Dale Robinson won after a ding-dong battle with Nash Santuccione.
The club returns to the Ironbarks this Saturday for the ten kilometre Stawell Sportspower Handicap.
Fun runners are invited to meet at the North Park clubrooms from 9.30am.