Wiry veteran Keith Lofthouse confounded the evidence of poor form this season by scoring a surprise win in the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s leg of the eight kilometre Best’s Winery event last Saturday.
Lofthouse runs with both the Amateurs and the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club at weekends but his form card with the former looked dismal (reading 12, 10, 17, 13, 11, 14, 6, 9) after a promising fifth to open the season.
“I guess I’ve lacked a little motivation on the first day of two day running weekends, and of course I’ll be seventy next year and at that age I might have to reassess.
“With just the one combined race on Saturday I was a lot fresher but that doesn’t tell the whole story. I know the Great Western course like the back of my hand. I designed it and the gentle undulations suit my style down to the ground.”
Lofthouse said he gained confidence once he caught Horsham runner Graeme Eldridge who had had the better of him all season.
“I then had Terry Jenkins in my sights and he is as tough as old boots. I tailed him for about three kilometres and didn’t think I would reel him in but with a kilometre to run I was close enough to have a crack.”
Holding just a little reserve for the flat run through the Best’s driveway, Lofthouse sprinted clear to
win the handicap event by 0.38 minutes from the improving Kayleen Urquhart with Jenkins hanging on for third.
In the one kilometre Sub Junior race, Jerome Baker scored a brave win over duelling sisters Chloe and Olivia Hunter.
The club has a “home” run in the five kilometre Axis Employment Handicap at Stawell. Fun runners are welcome and should meet at the North Park clubroom from 9.30am.