Matilda Waltzes to Surprise Win

After a gruelling 20 kilometre run in the Wings for Life World Run in Melbourne just six days earlier, endurance athlete Matilda Iglesias surprised herself when she was able to back up with a win in the five kilometre Andrew Darnell Memorial Handicap at Stawell last Saturday.

A surprise starter in the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club race after a late change to her work schedule, Iglesias went to the start having “no idea” as to how she would perform.

“I did the very best I could in Melbourne but didn’t know how much that had taken out of me until I actually raced,” she said.

The Wings for Life, supporting research for spinal cord injury, is a unique event which began simultaneously in 44 countries around the world whatever the time zone.

The runners are pursued by a Catcher Car chasing at regulated speeds. For individuals their race is over as soon as they are overtaken by the vehicle. Iglesias ran 20.64 kilometres in 110 minutes before she was “caught” to fall just short of her 21km target.

When Iglesias first joined the club in 2012, she was clocking around the 28 minute mark for 5kms but a dedicated fitness regime which includes endurance training at Halls Gap has enabled her to rip five minutes off the times once expected of her.

Her 15 second win over evergreen Gary Saunders and third placegetter Rachel Coverdale in the Darnell was the fourth win by a female, confirming their early domination after just five races this season. Former Club Champion Nathaniel Warren flew the flag for the males by posting best time of 18.50 minutes.

In the one kilometre Sub-Junior race Elizabeth Squire made an auspicious debut, racing away from Olivia Hunter for a stylish win with Lily O’Flynn third.

The club returns to the Ironbarks on Saturday for their first eight kilometre race of the season, the Stawell Toyota and Kia Handicap. Sub-Juniors race over 1km. Fun runners are most welcome and should meet at the North Park Club Rooms from 9.30am.

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