Steve Baird grabbed the lead in the final 100 metres to claim victory in the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club Stephen Baird Handicap, run over 5000m last Saturday.
Held in calm warm conditions, twenty-eight senior runners set off over the hilly Bonne Dundee course.
Carol Lehmann and 78 year old Keith Haymes lead the way followed by Gary Saunders, Phil Burns and Adelene Hilbig running with invitational runner Lucas Delastic.
At the halfway point, Lehmann still led from Phil Burns, with middle markers Paul Atherton and Steve Baird moving up strongly.
Backmarker Jade Merrett was also starting to make his presence felt.
The long testing climb to the finish saw many changes in placings. Adelene Hilbig and Lucas Delastic lead for much of the way, and looked like taking out the major placings, but were challenged over the final 200m by Steve Baird.
With 100m to go, Baird hit the front, and powered up the final slope to the line, to win by 2 seconds from Hilbig. Paul Atherton claimed third place from a fast finishing Merrett.
Jade Merrett ran the fastest time of 18min 49sec. Quickest female was Ilana Jorgenson with 24min 48sec.
The juniors also ran the same 5000m course, with many of the juniors placing well in senior field. Nat Watson ran well to beat a close, more senior relative’s time, and came home a clear winner over Emily Parnaby.
Backmarker and in form runner Daniel Faravoni got up for third, and posted the best junior time of 21min 17sec. Emily Parnaby was the fastest junior girl in 24min 22sec.
Sub-junior Georgia Barnett just held out a dramatic final charge by back marker Liam Scott to win the 1000m event. India Burns ran well to claim third placing. Scott ran the fastest sub-junior time of 3min 52sec. Elly Barnett was the best sub-junior girl in 4min 43sec.