In 2012 Matilda Iglesias made her debut with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club never expecting the “miracle” of actually winning a race.
She made nonsense of that at only her fourth start when staving off the fast-finishing Col Barnett to salute in the 6.5 kilometre Garry Rice Concongella Vineyards Handicap and last Saturday she stood at the same spot with a sixth win under her belt in only her third year.
No one at the club has a better record in recent times and it is a record that may not have been surpassed in its 49 year history.
Remarkably, the 34-year-old might have achieved her “six-pack” much sooner but for two debilitating bouts of tonsillitis this season.
“I’ve been as sick as a dog and haven’t been able to put the time and effort into my training. It’s taken a long time to get back to a level of fitness where I can be competitive,” she said.
She credits Bob Freeland for his Monday night sessions at Stawell’s Central Park for putting some speed back into her legs.
Nipping around the vineyards notable for its sharp turns and gentle slopes, Iglesias had too much zip for the tenacious Meggy Boan and had a 20 second advantage once handicaps were adjusted with reigning Club Champion Nathaniel Warren ripping into third place after lapping several of the slower runners on the three lap circuit.
Fastest time was the sizzling 25.50 minutes recorded by Kieran Ryan who is off to Alaska shortly to join endurance race guru Geoff Roes at his Alaska Mountain Ultra-Running Camp and then facing the challenge of a 150 km run.
Iglesias has more modest goals but they are no less admirable.
“I want to break 22 minutes for five kilometres and run a half marathon in under one hour and 45 minutes,” she said.
In the Junior division of the race Luca O’Flynn enjoyed a 10 second win over Michael Coverdale after racing neck and neck most of the way and Alex Boan broke through for his first Sub Junior win of the season with a determined effort to account for Logan Casey.
The five kilometre Stephen Baird Handicap tomorrow challenges the unwary with its steep uphill run to the finish. Fun runners are welcome and should meet at the North Park clubrooms from 1.30pm.