The amazing transformation of former Horsham couch potato Tim Harris into a formidable athlete rolled on at Roses Gap last Saturday when he tamed the infamous “hill of horrors” at Roses Gap to win the toughest race on the club’s calendar.
The reborn Tim, who once found it difficult to roll his 100 kilogram bulk out of bed on weekends, heaved his trim 80 kilogram frame up the treacherous slope, which is a minefield of ankle-breaking boulders and deep trenches, to triumph in a Horsham clean-sweep of the 10 kilometre Run for Ray Scott.
Decorated Horsham ironwoman “Super” Susie Ellis chased her training partner most of the way, but finished 20 seconds in arrears once handicaps were applied, with the consistent Howdens, Gary and Sharon, battling it out for third and fourth.
Tim, 44, only began running two years ago after taking “a long hard look” at himself and has set a long term goal – to complete a full Ironman event “somewhere in the world” in 2014.
“It could be anywhere from Iraq to Iceland, I haven’t decided, but it will just be another chapter in this beautiful journey I’m enjoying at the moment.”
It is fair to say that Tim has become the club’s greatest enthusiast and is an inspiration to non-runners and those who don’t participate, or get involved, in any kind of sport.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I used to be just like them when my weekends revolved around beer and barbecues. I’d make the usual excuses about not having time to exercise, but the fact is, once you commit yourself, most people can run one or two kilometres in just ten minutes of effort.”
While the contest raged for handicap honours, Stawell policeman Nathaniel Warren was having a devil of a time out in front trying to shake off Liam Scott, 15, and brother Karl, 23, representing their dad, in a bid to be first across the line.
Nathaniel prevailed, but Liam was only 41 seconds behind him, a remarkable effort for a youngster who doesn’t train specifically for running and whose first love, at least for now, is playing footy with the Stawell Swifts.
Jessica Boan made a one-act affair for the five kilometre Junior division of the race, while the Scollary girls, Armani and Chanel, fought out the finish of the Sub Juniors over a testing 1000 metre course.
By Keith Lofthouse