The flying femme phenomenon rolled on at the Concongella Vineyards last Saturday when Matilda Iglesias waltzed to her maiden win – the seventh by a female in nine races this season.
Having only her fourth run with the club Matilda nipped round the picturesque 6.5 kilometre circuit, notable for its sharp turns and gentle slopes, like a seasoned veteran to defeat the fast-finishing club champion Col Barnett by a handy margin.
The ever-consistent Sharon Howden, already a winner this year, ran with her usual determination to finish third for the fifth time this year.
Matilda was thrilled with the win in the Garry Rice-sponsored event, but at the same time, by her own admission, was somewhat dazed by the difference running has made to her life.
“If you had told me this time last year that I’d be standing here now with a prize for winning a cross country race I’d have said you were nuts!” the Stawell mother of two said. “But the facts are that I decided to make a difference to my life and set myself a list of goals, I wanted to get fit and I wanted to feel better about myself and now I’ve achieved both,” she said.
During the process, the 32-year-old Matilda has lost 12 kilograms of weight and has dumped “casual exercise” for fat-burning High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) home workout programs, such as Turbo Fire and Insanity, that are available on DVD.
“The irony of it all is that I hated running cross country in high school because I could feel my lungs bursting. That, of course, was all down to fitness, or the lack of it.”
Fitness now is no barrier for the full time mum who will participate in the 10 kilometre Run Melbourne on July 15 and is aiming for the Melbourne Half-Marathon (21.5 kilometres) in October.
In the Junior version of the Vineyards race, Oriana Panozzo scooted over the five kilometres in smart time to defeat the promising Nathan Stoate, while Chanel Scollary was too strong for a determined Alex Boan in the Sub-Juniors race.
By Keith Lofthouse