Halls Gap chef Bal Sukhpreet emulated the feat of Halls Gap masseuse Tina Baker a week earlier when he won his first ever competitive foot race at Stawell last Saturday.
Sukhpreet finished with a withering burst to overwhelm Luke Baker (Tina’s husband) in the last 100 metres of the 6.5 kilometre Advance Bricks and Pavers Handicap to win by just four seconds, with the ever consistent Matilda Iglesias in third place.
Sukhpreet, who aspires to test his endurance in iron man and ultra-marathons, shows he has what it takes by warming up at speed over the race distance on the North Park turf just one hour before the Stawell Amateur Athletic event in which he clocked an impressive 26.15 minutes.
“I haven’t achieved anything that I really want to achieve with my running,” he said modestly after the race. “I’m just conditioning my body to I can achieve what I want to in the future.”
While a couple of his burly club mates, before and after the race, spoke of “too many biscuits” and “too many chocolate bars”, Sukhpreet is a picture of lean, glowing health.
The young vegetarian is studying food science and nutrition and gets his “sugar hit” by consuming up to five kilograms of mandarins every week.
A strict diet energises him to run 20 laborious laps of the North Park football ground in a once regular 10 km workout that he now uses to evaluate his progress in terms of speed.
“I want to run a kilometre in under three minutes,” he declares, a tall order considering that the world record of 2.11.96 was set by Kenyan Noah Ngeny in 1999.
“Otherwise I’m happy to run as fast as I can over any distance I can, as long as it’s long distance,” he said.
In the Sub Junior one kilometre event, Jerome Baker held off strong challenges from sisters Olivia and Chloe
On Saturday, runners gather from 9.30am at the North Park clubrooms before the five kilometre Stephen Baird Handicap. Fun runners are welcome.. Fun runners are welcome.