Rupanyup gardener Meggy Boan led an all girl charge through the twists and turns of the Ironbarks Forest last Saturday, defying the odds to record her second win with the club in three weeks.
After an astonishing 88-second win in the eight kilometre Horsham Little Aths race at Haven earlier this month, Meggy copped a savaging from the club handicapper and finished near last in the Lindsay Kent Memorial at her next start.
But a change into more conventional footwear and some sage advice from venerable running coach Keith Haymes made a nonsense of her new mark and, incredibly, she “streeted” the opposition again in the five kilometre David O Jones Mitre 10 Handicap.
Leggy Meggy was going to win the Mitre 10 a long way from home and gapped another recent winner, Sharon Howden to score by 33 seconds. Sharon also ran “out of her skin” but never threatened the mercurial Meggy, while Gaynor Radovic found form for the first time this year to complete the all-girl trifecta.
The humbled males should have expected the worst when Meggy and coach Haymes were seen huddled in conversation before the race.
The wily octogenarian has been coaching athletes at all levels, from elite to eager, for 40 years and had mapped out a program for Meggy which she adhered to in the week before the race.
The gal from Rupanyup hadn’t run a distance greater than five kilometers since 1993 until she joined the running club but has now stretched her longest training run out to 13 kilometres around Rupanyup’s scenic “Jack’s Track”
Like Selina Heard-Price, who was a newcomer to the SAAC ranks last year but made rapid improvement to win two races, Meggy has improved in leaps and bounds as evidenced by the times recorded in her three five kilometre races so far – 31.42 on April 24, 28.26 a week later and 25.24 on Saturday.
The Beijing-born Meggy, who married an Australian and moved to Rupanyup in 1995, exercises a little Chinese philosophy when it comes to life, and to running.
“I like to win, I have high expectations, but you have to keep a balance, and just do your best.”
In the Junior division of the race, Halls Gap youngster Nathan Stoate made an impressive debut, giving windburn to many of the senior runners on his way to defeating the flying Paris Panozzo and the improving Luca O’Flynn.
Nathan’s sister, Georgia, made it a family double by swooping on Alex Boan to take out the Sub-Junior race over 1.5 kilometres.
By Keith Lofthouse