Caught on the run with telephone in hand taking care of business in the Advance Bricks and Pavers Handicap at Stawell last Saturday, Meghann O’Brien dashed from the course not realising she had won on debut.
A locum radiographer, O’Brien was on call in case of emergency and was anxious to finish the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club race so that she could return to work.
“I reckon it probably helped me because I basically run for fun,” she said. “I’m not really competitive but the fact that I had to work made me run faster than I normally would.”
She won the 6.5 kilometre event by a tidy margin of 1.12 minutes from Michelle Dunn, who owns the title of club “bridesmaid” after being the runner-up at each of her last four starts.
In all four the luckless Dunn has lowered her colours to surprise winners, rookies Kate Field and O’Brien and to veterans Bob Freeland and Gary Saunders who staged form reversals to win their races.
A keen hiker, the New Zealand-born O’Brien ran cross country as a schoolgirl but lacked the competitive drive to win.
“I’ve dabbled in lots of sports – netball, soccer, touch rugby and basketball – but never been serious about any. I know I’m not a sprinter but I ran The Gap this year and it seems I have a liking for distance running.”
No slouch when it comes to training, O’Brien runs every second day and has gone as far as 20.3 kilometres running with mates “just for fun.”
“Who knows, I might have a marathon in me one day,” she said.
In the one kilometre Sub Juniors race, reigning club champion Olivia Hunter was rewarded for her consistency with a seven second win over Nash Santuccione, with Chloe Hunter a close third.
The club takes a short hop to Concongella this Saturday for the 6.5 kilometre Concongella Vineyards Handicap. Fun runners are welcome.