Female runners brought an abrupt end to male domination of the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club season when they filled the podium in the 16 kilometre Hyperno Melbourne Marathon Warm-Up
on a challenging figure-eight course through the Stawell Ironbarks last Saturday.
The slender figure of Meggy Boan literally jumped for joy after learning that she had won from determined chasers Rhonda Rice, Sandra Casey and fourth placed Matilda Iglesias.
The race, named after the 1979 Melbourne Cup winner and 1981 Australian Horse of the Year, was run as a “sealed” handicap which meant that all runners, from the fastest to the slowest, started together and the handicaps not revealed until after the event.
“I am stunned but I am wrapt,” the Rupanyup gardener gushed when announced as the winner – only the fifth female in 17 races after the femmes had dominated in 2012-13.
“It was a dream to win this race because it is the longest and toughest. I am highly competitive and these things are important to me.”
No one seemed more surprised than Boan, who is so light on her feet and slight of build that she seems to float like a feather in the breeze.
Leggy Meggy, who had won three races and just about every club award possible in 2013, had endured a difficult season, starved of success after a succession of minor but debilitating illnesses, including running at a high temperature when a brave third in a 10 kilometre race at Stawell the week before.
“I’ve had a bad back, colds, flu and all that, and I haven’t been able to train with my usual intensity.”
She is not short on tenacity however and trains regularly up and down Stawell’s Big Hill – six times in one session every Wednesday with club-mate Rachel Coverdale who also has benefited from the hill-climbing experience.
Boan will now tackle the Stawell Hospital Half-Marathon on October 5 with renewed confidence.
“I set myself a high benchmark and always do my best because I like to win.”
In the two kilometre Sub Junior division of the race, Lily O’Flynn kept the flag flying for the girlrs
The club travels west tomorrow for the Horsham Physiotherapy & Podiatry Hcp, at Haven. Fun runners are welcome and details can be found on the club website.