Horsham Telstra Shop Handicap and Grand Prix Event
Revelling in the flat conditions, Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runner Paul Atherton attacked the field from the start to take out the Horsham Telstra Shop Handicap, held over 6500m last Saturday on the outskirts of Horsham.
Running from a mid field handicap amongst the 25 senior starters, Atherton powered through the early stages of the race to hit the front with 1500m to go, establishing a clear lead from the rest of the field. With 1km to go, he still held a 100m advantage over the first of the backmarkers, Adrian Tyler, with Peter Steggall and Ray Scott still some distance behind.
With 150m to go, Atherton’s lead had been whittled to 20m, but a glance over his shoulder sent him charging to the line, holding off Adrian Tyler who finished second, with Peter Steggall third.
This race was also the first in the Grand Prix series, with each runner gaining points over the 5 race series towards the final prize, a nights accommodation in Melbourne.
Fastest time of the day was Col Barnett’s 24 minutes 37sec. Fastest female was Susie Ellis in 27 minutes 38sec.
Eight junior runners tackled the 3km out and back course. Once again the flat conditions favoured the front to mid field runners, with Sarah Ellis leading all the way to take out the event from last weeks winner Greta Duke. Shaun Parnaby showed good early season form to finish third.
Fastest junior was Daniel Faravoni with a time of 11 minutes 59sec. Quickest junior girl was shared by Greta Duke and Emily Parnaby both with 14 minutes 9sec.
Eight sub-juniors battled out the 1000m dash, with Liam Burns running strongly to clinch the win by 8 seconds from the ever dangerous backmarker Liam Scott. India Burns, the youngest runner in the field, put in a great effort to come home third.
Best sub-junior time was a quick 3 minutes 56sec by Liam Scott. Fastest sub-junior girl was Elly Barnett in a time of 4 minutes 39sec.
A special thank you to Gary and Sharon Howden for the use of their facilities to stage the event.