Lofthouse Holds Out Zgainski

Cool conditions greeted a good field of 20 senior runners, who lined up to tackle the relocated Tyler’s Hardware Handicap, held for the first time at Rupanyup.

Quite a few local runners lined up to run as invitational runners, with Gail Emmett leading the field home ahead of back marker Noel Jorgensen, followed by Peter Emmett.

Competitors tackled the 7500 meter Jack’s Track course, starting from the Rupanyup oval, with the seniors doing two laps and the juniors one lap. Constructed under the guidance of Adrian Tyler, the basically flat course (well, have you seen any hills at Rupanyup?) is very picturesque, with many twists and turns among the many shrubs and trees.

Gary Saunders was the first of the club runners away and held the lead for most of the way. With about 1km to go, arch rivals Keith Lofthouse and Ted Zgainski took over the lead, with Lofthouse holding a narrow advantage. Soon after entering the oval for the final lap to the line, Zgainski caught Lofthouse, but Lofthouse found a little extra and kicked on to take out the race. Nathaniel Warren charged through the field once again to come in third.

Invitational runner Noel Jorgensen ran an impressive race to clock the fastest time of 26 minutes 38 seconds.

A great turn out of local runners swelled the usually depleted junior ranks to 8, with Tobias Blair the only club runner in the race, so was of course the official winner.

However, Cam Ruwoldt ran a great race to come home first and record the fastest time of 20 minutes 6 seconds. Paris Panozzo and Leesa Drum had a great battle with Panozzo getting away at the end to be the first girl home in a good time of 20 minutes 26 seconds. Lauren Drum and Gemma Morgan also had a close tussle, with Drum just winning by 3 seconds.

Somer Darnell once again ran hard to complete the sub-junior 1km event.

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