Leggy Meggy Boan has had nightmares about her embarrassing gaffe when she unaccountably stopped short of the finish line and was denied a maiden cross-country win a couple of weeks ago.
But she quickly made amends for her mishap by smashing a strong field to win the eight kilometre Horsham Little Aths Handicap at Haven, near Horsham, last Saturday.
“I was so anxious about what happened the week before, and concerned that it might happen again, that I couldn’t sleep, but now I feel very relieved,” a smiling Meggy said after her stunning one minute and 28 seconds victory at only her fourth outing with the club.
Horsham runners had dominated the first three races on the SAAC calendar but Meggy’s win broke the stranglehold – even if the Horsham push, led by Gary Howden, filled the next three placings.
“I love the challenge of racing and I love to win,” the slender Rupanyup nurserywoman said. “But it’s not about winning or losing; it’s about the social interaction with people who have similar interests and the friendly rivalry that comes with that.”
Meggy, who still runs in shoes better suited for gardening than running, has made remarkable progress since joining the club at the start of the season at the urgings of her daughter Jessica and son Alex.
“I really hadn’t done any running since I graduated from university in Beijing in 1993, but now I am training every day and getting a lot of enjoyment out of making it a family activity,” she said.
Meggy married an Australian and moved to restful Rupanyup in 1995 where they own and operate the local Garden Centre. The Horsham event was her first ever attempt at an eight kilometre race, and she picked a tough one, which snaked over dips and gullies, stone walls, fallen tree stumps and creek-beds.
Club Champion Col Barnett designed the course and was seemingly unhindered by its obstacles, carving out the distance in an impressive 32.01, which was just on 50 seconds faster than Gary Howden.
Jessica Boan did her mum proud by winning the three kilometre Junior division of the race over Pomonal’s Raine Mackley, who made a welcome return to the club, while Mia Panozzo denied the Boan family a clean-sweep when she finished fast to win the Sub-junior division over a determined Alex Bon.
By Keith Lofthouse