Life changed dramatically for Horsham factory worker Tim Harris when, bent on “finding a new purpose in life,” he decided to take up running in August last year.
He ended his Saturday afternoon ritual of “barbecues and beers”, joined the Horsham Running Club, dropped 20 kilograms in weight, and his transformation culminated in a decisive 12-second win at only his second hit-out with our club at the Rupanyup Sports Complex on Saturday.
“I can’t believe the buzz I’m getting out of this,” Tim said after overpowering recent winner Selina Heard-Price on the lap of the footy ground that ends the seven-and-a-half kilometre Tyler’s Hardware Handicap, in which our generous host, Adrian Tyler, finished third.
“Now I get out of bed on a Saturday morning with energy and drive and something to look forward to. I’ve got such a passion for it that I feel I want to run ’till the day I die,” the excitable newcomer said.
Almost indifferent to cricket and football at school and never a runner, the 43-year-old Tim had no sporting interests when he began his working life, but the fitness and social aspects of club running has him hooked. Less than 24 hours after his win he trained over 11 kilometres with the Horsham club and recently cracked two hours in the Great Ocean Road Half-Marathon (23 kilometres). He now has his sights set on competing in triathlons and a second half marathon in July.
“I haven’t set out to win anything, but it just goes to show that anyone of any age can take up running and turn their life around. All you gotta do is stop making excuses,” he said.
The big surprise in the Tyler Hardware Handicap was the sudden shift in the status of the club’s elite with Karl Scott, for the first time, eclipsing Col Barnett for fastest time.
Col had been swiftest in five of the previous six races but Karl was in scintillating form on the fast and flat layout at Rupanyup. Karl, who unfortunately will be “lost” to football for the much of the season, gave Col a 60 second start but dashed over the distance in a sparkling 29 minutes 44 seconds to better Col’s time by 25 seconds.
For the second week in a row, Tobias Blair, having turned his back on football, was focused and fast and took out the junior division of the race from Paris Panozzo, whose sister, Mia, made amends by winning the sub-juniors race.
By Keith Lofthouse