Matilda Iglesias and Sharon Howden added to the misery of male performance this season when they fought out the finish of the Stan and Karen Watson five kilometre handicap at Stawell last Saturday.
The Iglesias-Howden quinella was the second by females in 2012 but there has also been a brace of “fairer sex” trifectas. The previous race produced a whitewash in which seven of the first eight to finish were females.
“Waltzing” Matilda’s win was her second since June – the 10th by a female in 16 races this year – as she stuck to her guns in the last kilometre and withstood the challenge from the irrepressible to score by a decisive margin of 22 seconds.
Veteran Stephen Baird waved a feeble flag for the males, chasing into third place a further 16 seconds in arrears.
“I had to run a personal best (23 minutes 42 seconds) to win but that’s my goal now, to continue to run PBs and, eventually, I hope to break two hours in a half-marathon,” the smiling winner said.
The mother of two has stripped up to 15 kilograms from her body weight since determining to “make a difference” in her life earlier this year.
She is one of a number of lost, languid or lapsed individuals – Meggy Boan, Selena Heard-Price, Justine Tracey and Tim Harris among them – who have rediscovered their mojo by joining the club, achieving personal satisfaction and fitness through the joy of participation.
Sharon is also fitter and faster and has transformed with a win, four seconds, five thirds and two fourths in a standout season that is certain to earn her multiple awards at the end of the season, now just three races away.
For the males there was further relief with Nathaniel Warren scooting over the distance on an undulating Ironbarks Forest course in an impressive 19 minutes and 4 seconds. It was the fourth time he has recorded fastest time this year.
In a hotly contested Junior Division of the Watson, promising youngster Nathan Stoate ran a slashing 20 minutes 48 seconds to defeat a determined Luca O’Flynn and Jessica Boan.
Newcomer Jackson Clarke celebrated his maiden win in the Sub-Juniors with 18 seconds to spare from Alex Boan and Georgia Stoate.
By Keith Lofthouse