Wet slippery conditions greeted the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runners on Saturday for the Gary Rice Handicap held at Dadswells Bridge.
Twenty-four senior runners lined up to contest the 5km race. Despite the vast sheets of water covering parts of the course after the recent rains, Peter Hilbig started quickly, taking the conditions in his stride. With a string of second placings this year, he seemed determined to make the race his.
After reeling in the front markers by mid race, he established a clear lead and went on to win by the large margin of 47 sec, leaving Gary Saunders to finish runner-up for the second week in a row. Stan Watson ran well to finish third.
Aggregate leader Gaynor Radovic finished sixth to move her points total to 105, 8 points clear of Stan Watson in second place. Can Stan win the last race to claim the Aggregate?
Col Barnett had the fastest time of 18 min 36 sec, with Jacinta Collier the fastest female in 21 min 36 sec.
Twelve juniors braved the muddy conditions for their 3km race.
Shaun lead the field off and managed to maintain his lead for most of the race, but a fast finishing Alastair had him in his sights and with 250m to go, overtook Shaun to claim victory. Lucy finished third.
Alastair clocked the fastest time of 13 min 10sec with Lucy the fastest female in 14 min 6 sec.
Eight sub-juniors contested the 1.5km race, with Richard dodging the puddles (unlike one junior Scott who made it his business to run through every one!) to win from Fraser in second place. Samara came in third.
Nathan was once again the fastest sub-junior in a time of 5 min 45 sec. Hannah was the fastest girl in 6 min 40 sec.
A special thank you to the Namaskaar Indian Restaurant and Gary for the delicious Indian dishes for afternoon tea.