A single mum, inspired by a sponsor’s pre-race speech about a tragic loss and invigorated by a radical change to her diet, raced to a third win this season and her fifth in only her second year with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club last Saturday.
Defying all that the club handicapper could do to stop her, Matilda Iglesias raced on courage and will power to win the five kilometre Andrew Darnell Memorial Handicap, on a flat course adjacent to the Wimmera River at Horsham.
“My son suffers from asthma and I was very moved by the story of Andrew who loved running cross country and tried to be the best he could without ever giving up,” Iglesias said after recording the 11th win by a female in 19 races this year.
Before the start, Jean Darnell had spoken about her son’s determination to compete, despite the chronic asthma which claimed the schoolboy’s life in 1988. Andrew, just 17 at the time, had open heart surgery the year before and according to his mum, literally “lived on a pump.”
“I thought about Andrew all through the race and about how lucky I was to be able to run as fast as I can without any disability holding me back,” Iglesias said. “I’d even forgotten that I was knocked flat by a bout of food poisoning I had during the week.”
She had also, temporarily in the emotion of her win, forgotten about the Caveman Diet she had adopted since her previous win which she believes has improved her well-being and also made a difference on race day.
“My kids have got allergies so I have to watch what I eat and watch what they eat and so now it’s no rice, pasta, legumes or bread. I’m basically on meat and vegetables and I’ve found since I started it that I am sleeping better, have more energy and I’m on top of the uncontrollable cravings.”
None of this has to do with her bout of food poisoning, she explained. “Oh, I’m pretty sure that was down to some chicken I reheated, not as I should, apparently.” In the two kilometre Sub Junior division of the race, Horsham’s Cella Atherton had reason to rejoice her home town advantage by winning a handsome trophy.
Race action returns to Stawell tomorrow for the Young’s Sportspower Handicap over a challenging 10 kilometres. Interested fun runners should meet at the North Park clubrooms at 1.30pm.
Keith Lofthouse 53562493 / 0458830034