Her speed is down, her stamina tested, her training trimmed and her back aching, but none of this stopped the relentless Meggy Boan from hobbling to a gutsy win in the Telstra Shop Handicap at Horsham last Saturday.
Since joining the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club in 2012, no runner has won more races and been more determined to win than the Rupanyup gardener who has strength beyond her wiry physique.
Having trundled a tough road back from a debilitating illness at the start of the year, Boan told a club mate, who had a full minute’s start on her in the 6.5 kilometre race, that she had no chance of catching him.
Not only did she overhaul him by the time the half-way mark was reached – when the first back spasm struck – but, gaining in confidence, she chased runners who had more than six minutes start and then had the audacity to catch the leader with a kilometre to run.
Despite finishing the race with an alarming hobble, Boan had somehow stretched her margin to 30 seconds over the grey-bearded Gary Saunders with backmarker Nathaniel Warren rocketing home to be a close third.
“I am only just starting to get my strength back,” Boan said, “but in the meantime I’ve had to reduce my training runs to six to eight kilometres when before I could easily do 10.
“Besides that I had to do some heavy lifting during the week which seems to have affected my back so I might have to take is easy again in the hope that it settles down.”
In the one kilometre Sub-Junior division of the race, eight-year-old Jordan Nitschke sprinted to a brave win over Logan Casey with Alex Boan holding on grimly for third.
The club returns to Stawell tomorrow for the five kilometre Andrew Darnell Memorial. The Sub-Juniors have a two kilometre run ahead of them. Fun runners are welcome and should meet at the North Park clubrooms at 9.30am.