Reigning club champion Nathaniel Warren made giant strides towards winning a fourth title when he blitzed a field of determined chasers in the three kilometre Chris Blake Championship in the Stawell Ironbarks last Saturday.
The race was made to order for Nathaniel, 25, who was having only his third start for the season and was fresher and certainly faster than his club-mates, some who failed to handle the transition from long distance to a virtual sprint.
Nathaniel dashed over the distance in a sparkling 11.01 minutes to stretch space between himself, Matilda Iglesias and Tony Davey but was stunned afterwards to learn that he had won the club’s fastest race at his last three attempts (2010, 12, 13).
“I don’t like the race, I never feel comfortable in it and feel best when I’m able to settle into a longer distance,” he said.
The local policeman hasn’t the time these days to train at the intensity of previous years, notably in 2009 when he had the speed and stamina to scorch over the undulating 3km in a personal best of 9.48 minutes, but despite a limited preparation was only marginally down on the 10.52 he posted last year.
With two championship races remaining, Nathaniel is now equal on points with Gary Howden who is currently overseas and may miss at least one of the two deciders.
Nat was Club Champion in 2009 and shared the title with David McAllister in 2010 but now he is focused on a long term goal and aims to run a sub-three hour marathon before he turns 30.
“I’ve run four marathons so far, in Melbourne and Adelaide, and my best is 3.09. In Adelaide last year the wind was so strong that we were running through foam blown from the beach and I found the conditions really tough. I’m sure I’m capable of running the time, but it’s a mental thing. You have to do the training and be right on the day, but it won’t be this year, maybe Canberra next year.”
Alex Boan fought hard to score a narrow win over Liam Davey in the Sub-Junior version of the race, Liam bravely backing up only minutes after also running with the seniors. Improving last start winner, Michael Coverdale, was third.
The club visits Halls Gap tomorrow for the three kilometre King of the Hill, which starts from the Mount Rosea Car Park at 1.30pm.
Fun runners of all ages are invited to meet at the North Park Clubrooms at 1.30 pm. Keith Lofthouse 53562493 / 0458830034