Hardened by a tough run in the 21.5 kilometre Run Melbourne on July 27, Vicki Tyler led an all-girl charge for the second time this season to win the eight kilometre Stawell Toyota and Kia Handicap at Stawell last Saturday.
Back in May it was Tyler, Jess Cass and Naomi Hunter who shared the spoils in a Stawell Amateur Athletic Club race but this time it was the more experienced Tyler who out-gunned the raw but fast-improving rookies, Kate Field and Vicki Tyler.
Tyler, who hails from Horsham where there are no hills to train on, knows that inclines are her weakness but that knowledge proved to be her strength in the tactical battle.
“I knew I was fit after Run Melbourne but I know better than to try and keep pace with the others uphill and so I saved myself for the downhill.”
The three placegetters all started from similar marks in the handicap race with Field and Hurley gaining ground on the uphill, and Tyler catching up on the downhill.
The resilient Tyler surged to the lead with about three kilometres to run and reached the timekeepers with fifty-one seconds to spare from the tiring chasers.
Tucking into a banana after running the race on the dubious nutrition of a piece of toast, Tyler’s goal is to run Melbourne Marathon in October.
“It will be my last only because it’s my tenth and hopefully I’ll do it inside four hours,” she said.
In the one kilometre dash for the sub-juniors, it was the girls again with Kelsey Hurley leading all the way to beat the boys, Nate Lyons and Miles Membrey.
The club meets at Stawell’s Rifle Range Road this Saturday for the ten kilometre Run For Ray (Scott). Fun runners are welcome.