Howden Hops Abroad All Male Gravy Train

Horsham’s Gary Howden continued the unexpected dominance of male athletes over female in this Stawell Amateur Athletic Club season with a narrow win in the 10 kilometre Run for Ray Scott at Stawell last Saturday.

The club’s keen contingent of female runners have won more than half of the 40-odd races programmed by the club over the previous two seasons but in eight races so far in 2014 only Katie Collins has tasted success with just five females sharing podium finishes with 19 males.

Howden had club rookie Nathan Baker to thank for his 0.05 second win over 72-year-old greybeard Gary Saunders who continues to defy father time. Veteran Bob Freeland was 0.37 seconds away in third place completing another clean sweep for the males.

“Nathan was breathing down my neck and pushed me all the way and that’s a big help when you are trying to run a strong 10k,” Howden said.

Howden seems keen for the male resurgence to continue and hopes to bring a team down from Horsham for the eight kilometre Tyler’s Hardware Handicap at Rupanyup tomorrow.

The Telstra Shop owner is co-captain of the Run Horsham group of 20-30 runners which trains three mornings a week on the banks of the Wimmera River. Most of their focus is on endurance, half-marathon and marathon events and a team comprised of Horsham and Echuca runners, which included Howden, finished second of 92 mixed teams in the Cairns Triathlon in June.

The much-travelled Howden, who will shortly travel to Uganda to witness the annual migration of the silverback gorillas, will be home in time for the Koroit-Warrnambool Half Marathon on September 14. The Stawell Club has its own 16 kilometre Hyperno Melbourne Marathon warm-up on September 13.

Entry in the Tyler’s Hardware race is just $5 and fun runners are invited to meet at the Rupanyup Leisure Centre in Gibson Street from 1.30pm.

Keith Lofthouse 53562493

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