Inspired by husband Gary’s post-holiday win just three days after stepping off a plane from Los Angeles, wife Sharon Howden emulated his feat by winning the David O Jones Mitre 10 Handicap at Stawell exactly one week later.
Sharon finished eighth, more than three minutes behind Gary in the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s eight kilometre event on May 28, but found the five kilometres of the Mitre 10 race much more to her liking.
“I was probably a bit conservative, not being fully fit for the 8k race, but it’s amazing what can happen when there are runners around pressing you to do the best you can.
“I had Justine Tracey ahead of me and Tim Harris chasing me and the competitive juices started to flow. Still, I’m really surprised that I was able to win after going so badly the week before. I did do a couple of extra training runs during the week to try and make up for that.”
Making steady progress through the field, Howden staved off a spirited challenge from promising junior Luca O’Flynn to win by a slender margin of just five seconds, once handicaps were adjusted, with veteran Bob Freeland a typically tenacious third.
Like most serious cross country runners these days, the Howdens have tougher assignments ahead in the Adelaide Half Marathon in August and the Surf Coast Century run from Anglesea in early September.
The club has a bye this Queens Birthday weekend but returns to the Ironbarks for the five kilometre Stephen Baird Handicap on June 18. Fun runners are invited to meet at the North Park clubrooms from 9.30am.