After some good performances earlier in the year, Paul Atherton finally broke through for his first win of the season, taking out the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s Barham Insurance Handicap last Saturday.
Running off a tight mark, Atherton overtook more than half of the 18 strong field on his way to victory, recording a good time of 34 minutes 26 seconds for the difficult, and at times rough, 8 kilometer course.
Taking full advantage of the fast downhill start he passed Kelvin Mills in the first few kilometers, then steadily worked his way through the front markers. Pushing hard up the last hill, he comfortably held off a fast finishing Gary Howden, who took second place 19 seconds in arrears.
Stan Watson put in another good performance to finish a further 16 seconds back in third place. Col Barnett ran the fastest time of 31 minutes 12 seconds, while Ilana Jorgensen was again the quickest female running 39 minutes 13 seconds.
In the junior four kilometer event, Ebony Darnell was a comfortable winner with a time of 24 minutes 8 seconds, recording her first win with the club. Ebony set off fast on the first downhill leg of the race, over taking Sarah Ellis by the halfway point. She then kept up a steady pace to hold off the rest of the field and finished well clear of Nat Watson, who ran strongly to take second place.
Sarah Ellis was pushed over the final stages but held on for a well run third. Watson was the fastest junior boy running 19 minutes 24 seconds. Emily Parnaby was the fastest junior girl recording a time of 21 minutes 8 seconds.
Somer Darnell made it a family double by winning the sub-junior two kilometer event, in a time of 10 minutes 44 seconds. Somer moved past Georgia Barnett in the early stages of the race, and then maintained her lead to finish 18 seconds ahead of Barnett, who ran a good race for second.
Tobias Blair also put in a great run to come home third. Fastest sub-junior boy was Tobias Blair running 8 minutes 57 seconds with Elly Barnett the fastest sub-junior girl in 10 minutes 2 seconds.