The unprecedented run of success being enjoyed by first season runners with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club continued last Saturday when Brad Robinson won the five kilometre Rupanyup Garden Centre Handicap to become the sixth rookie in the past eight races to break through.
Robinson had intended only to support his son, Dale, in the one kilometre Sub Junior race but was talked into running by fellow endurance specialist Matilda Iglesias who used the race as a warm up for a You Yangs trail run the next day.
“I was feeling a little under-hydrated after struggling in a nine kilometre run during the week, but once I started the legs felt OK so I decided to have a crack,” he said.
“I didn’t give a thought to winning it, and this is a bit of a surprise because I’ve never won a race of any description. It was only my third run with the club and in the second I had to pull out with a thigh strain.”
Skirting around trail-wide puddles through the heathlands at Nuggety Hill near Stawell, Robinson surged to the lead with 800 metres run and reached the line with twelve seconds to spare from the ever-improving Michelle Dunn with David Hunter closing strongly into third place.
Never before a competitive runner, Robinson has previously put his fitness to the test playing ice hockey, participating in triathlon and half-iron man events and has a challenging schedule ahead.
“I’m running in the Wonderland 36 (kilometres) at Halls Gap in August, the Peaks and Trails at Dunkeld, the Melbourne Marathon in October and in November I’ll be pacing for my brother in the Great Southern Endurance run.”
Robinson plans to run the last 45 kilometres of the eye-popping 181 kilometre event, which stretches from Bright to Mount Buller and winds through the scenic if daunting Australian Alps Walking Track and related trails.
Son Dale couldn’t emulate his dad in the Sub Juniors but in a race dominated for once by the boys he was a creditable fourth behind Ethan Jones, Jerome Baker and Lenny Field.
The club travels to Rupanyup this Saturday for the Tyler’s Rural Handicap on a user-friendly eight kilometre course. Fun runners are welcome.