Club rookie Kate Collins who in 28 years had never been involved in organised sport was the first female winner in four races this year at only her fourth start.
Kate became a member almost on a whim after meeting club stalwart and other club runners for a regular Monday night training session at Stawell’s Central Park.
“Joining this club has been life changing for me,” she said. “Before this I had never run further than seven kilometres at any one time.”
With this in mind, Kate ran an intelligent race, running at a conservative pace and using the experience of Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club runners around her to keep a cool head.
Clocking a more than respectable 35.32 minutes, Kate finished neck and neck with that club’s Jack Trounson, who is nearing a 600-run milestone.
Her winning margin over a steady Sandra Casey was just 0.12 seconds with Gary Howden leading the men’s brigade a further 0.48 seconds behind in third place.
Fastest time was the sizzling 29.12 minutes recorded by Kieran Ryan which shared the race with the Ararat-based club whose best was Sam Gason – more than three minutes behind the flying Ryan.
In the 4km Junior division of the Kent, Michael Coverdale pipped Rhys Bubb in a closely fought race while Jacob Casey narrowly accounted for Alex Boan at the end of a 2km race for Sub-Juniors.