Husband and wife team Rick Price and Selina Heard-Price capped off an amazing rookie season with our club when Rick notched an unprecedented fourth win for the couple in the five kilometre McDonald’s Hairdressing Handicap, held at Stawell’s Big Hill last Saturday.
“Slim Jane” Selina started the juggernaut rolling when she won at her first competitive race over eight kilometres in the Ironbarks in May. Rick responded by winning at his first attempt at three kilometres in June. Then the rapidly-improving Selina hit back with a win over five kilometres in July.
“We feel very fortunate to have had so much success after coming to the club with no great expectations,” Rick said after clinching the season finale.
“We’ve had a terrific time and running has changed our lives. I’d recommend it to anyone serious about improving their health and changing their lifestyle.”
The couple, who travel down each Saturday with a Horsham training group hankering for the hills of Stawell, have made stunning progress. Rick has slashed over 90 seconds from his five kilometre times and Selina has excelled over longer distances.
“When we first came to the club with the intention of running we really didn’t know a great deal about racing, but now we’re learning and seem to be making natural improvement,” Rick said.
Keith Lofthouse, who has chased Selina for much of the year, commented that the most impressive thing about Selina is the longer the race, the stronger she seems to get.
He added, “She’s not much interested in running marathons and who can blame her, but I think if she runs in the Moyston to Ararat (15 kilometres) on Sunday she’ll be surprised by just what she can do.”
Keith had won the previous two Big Hills but was mentally “shot” after turning up in error wearing odd shoes – one new and one very old and worn. He ran without confidence and finished sixth.
Fastest time in the Big Hill was the 18 minutes 41 seconds clocked by Col Barnett, who held off the rampaging Heard-Prices to secure the Ian Notting Open Championship for the first time since he strung together four titles from 2003-06. Col also accrued enough points through the season to outpoint Selina for the coveted Keith Haymes Aggregate.
“Super” Susie Ellis is the Lois Trimble Open Female Champion, and Tobias Blair made it a clean sweep for Horsham runners when he won the club’s Junior Aggregate and Junior Boys Championship.
In Tobias’s absence overseas, Pomonal youngster Raine Mackley was in scintillating form, matching motors with the senior runners for most of the way and clocked a dashing 20 minutes 54 seconds to make a one-act affair of the 5km Junior Big Hill.
Our season is over and we congratulate all those who participated. Thank you timekeepers, track markers, marshals and helpers. Thank you Peter for maintaining the website and covering our races pictorially.
We wish you all a relaxing and rewarding off season, a bright and prosperous Christmas and New Year…and a running season full of fun and fitness in 2012.
By Keith Lofthouse