A random venture to Bacchus Marsh in 2011 for a cross country carnival with a boy who loves to run culminated in a family double at Halls Gap last Saturday when a father and son snatched a unique double in the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s King of the Mountain.
Much like the excursion at Bacchus Marsh, Tony Davey, 42, and his son Liam, 10, turned up unexpectedly at the Mount Rosea start, but this time the conditions could not be worse – howling winds, driving rain and, scariest of all, treetops that threatened to topple.
Then there was the hill ahead, strewn with fallen branches and streamlets turning rock to hazard and clay to mud.
No one wanted to start the Lois Trimble-sponsored event but everyone wanted the torment to end as painlessly as possible as the brave bedraggled sped off, first in the Sub-Junior event and then in the Seniors in which the robust Tony Davey relied on strength and stamina to outgun the waif-like Meggy Boan.
Together, it was like a Shetland taking on a Clydesdale, though both might have been swifter, but in the end it was Tony who had the power and he pulled away from the plucky chaser to score by a mere 0.11 seconds with the ever-reliable Peter Barham just 0.03 seconds astern in third place.
Earlier Liam Davey was crowned Prince of the Mountain after scooting away from Jordan Nitschke to record an impressive 4.19 minutes for the testing kilometre. A brave Alex Boan, who suffered a distressing car sickness before the race, was third.
For the Daveys it had all started at Bacchus Marsh. Eight-year-old Liam was keen to compete and his dad, who had never raced in adult life, entered the Open event in battered sandshoes, just for the hell of it, and both came close to a win.
Their natural talent established, father and son began to train together, Liam winning many a trophy at Little Aths and at schoolboy level and already one of the emerging talents in the region.
Meanwhile, Tony joined the Stawell Amateurs only this year, got under the handicapper’s guard and scored an effortless win on debut!
No one knows if the Davey “raiders” will show up for the Stan and Karen Watson five kilometre handicap at Stawell on Saturday, but it’s clear that wretched weather won’t be a deterrent.