By his own admission landscape gardener and weekend runner Dave Hunter is reluctant to leave the comfort of home to work on his fitness between races with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club.
But, disappointed with his eighth place in the 10 kilometre Run for Ray Scott, Hunter decided to train hard for the Shane and Robyn Young Sportspower Handicap at Stawell last Saturday and gloom turned into boom when he wrested the lead from tearaway Rhonda Rice with 400 metres to run and surged clear for a 12 second win.
Newcomer Rob Blythman held on grimly for third, beating off late challenges from Nathan Baker and Col Barnett.
“After a day’s hard labour the last thing I want to do is go out and train in the cold, knowing I’ve got another hard slog the next day,” Hunter said.
“I really have to force myself to train and I can’t say I like it but the four days extra I did last week seems to have made a difference. I’ve also got to thank Bob Freeland for his Monday night speed sessions because nothing beats the effort you put in when training in a group.”
Despite suffering from a heavy cold, Stawell Warriors footballer Tom Walker took advantage of a bye and in his second appearance with the running club recorded fastest time – a scintillating 38.29 minutes – after conceding as much as 29 minutes start to slower runners.
The Sub Junior event was won narrowly by the younger Hunter, Olivia, who had just two seconds to spare from Lily O’Flynn in a rib-tickling finish with Kayla Membrey closing in third place.
Race action returns to the Ironbarks tomorrow for the 16 kilometre Elwyn Haymes Memorial Handicap on a user-friendly figure-eight course. Fun runners are welcome.