Simon Edge hated cross-country running as a schoolboy but the Halls Gap school-teacher was telling a different story after he won the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s five kilometre King of the Mountain at Hall’s Gap on Saturday.
“I’ve played footy in Queensland, cricket and competed in triathlons, but never in my life before have a won a foot race of any description, anywhere,” he said.
The solidly-built thirty-year-old rookie ran below expectations when only tenth in the club’s 16 kilometre One More Step for Ray Rickard a week before the King of the Mountain but his first run at that distance had him primed to do better over the shorter course.
“It helped that I managed to stick with Colin Barnett (the reigning Club Champion) for about a third of the race,” Edge said, “which means I probably ran that section faster than I have before.
“I can also claim a bit of a home town advantage because I’ve run that course a few times and know it well.”
Once handicaps were applied Edge had just over a minute to spare from the ever consistent Colin Barnett, with veteran Bob Freeland hanging on grimly for third.
“I needed to get involved with a local club having moved to Halls Gap, knowing no one, “ Edge said, “and now I’m training harder and really enjoying my running.”
He now plans to join club-mates Jess Cass, Kayleen Urquhart and Nathaniel Warren running a 25 kilometre leg of the Surfcoast Century ultra-marathon along the Great Ocean Road on Saturday, September 15.
In the one-kilometre Sub-Junior Prince of the Mountain, Colten Kenny was too strong for the Baker boys Johnno and Barney who had to give away too much start to the tearaway.
The club is “at home” this Saturday for the penultimate race of the season, the five kilometre Ivan McDonald Hairdressing Handicap at Big Hill. Fun runners are welcome.