On cumulative times, the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club retained the Lindsay Kent Memorial Shield over Stawell, but Peter Barham led the way for Stawell and was first on handicap.
The 56-year-old insurance broker is back training five days a week and that was good enough for him to break through for his first success with the SAAC since 2009.
Peter has been an infrequent competitor in recent years, but always makes a special effort to compete in the race named in honour of the Stawell Hall of Famer and Stawell and Ararat club legend.
“I was pretty stiff and sore to begin with and had to run a conservative race to make sure I could last the distance,” he said.
He actually tailed the club’s struggling President for the first quarter of the race but once properly wound up reeled in a number of runners from both clubs.
A gallant Gary Howden recorded fastest time of 33 minutes 52 seconds to be second to cross the line behind Great Western champion, Dale Hurley.
Gary was just seconds clear of a chasing pack that included 16-year-old Nathan Makovec who recorded a PB of 33.56 to be first on handicap for Ararat.
Ten-year-old Liam Davey continues his impressive form in the Sub Junior ranks and was always in control of the 2km race to defeat the promising Stawell Little Athlete, Atalia Chaplin.
By Keith Lofthouse