Col Barnett made the Stawell Amateur Athletic Clubs toughest race of the season look easy, taking 25 seconds off his last years time, when he took out the 3000m Advance Bricks King of the Mountain, held last Saturday up the slopes of Mt Rosea.
Run as a sealed handicap, with all runners starting together, the first runner across the line claims the title of King of the Mountain. Then handicaps are applied after the race to determine the overall race winner.
From the outset, Barnett forged to the lead, throwing out the challenge to the other 19 senior runners. Ashley Roberts followed closely, with Ray Scott, Mark Pumpa and Peter Steggall vying for third. Half way up the course, a particularly steep section saw Barnett pull away from Roberts to establish a handy lead, while Steggall dropped back behind Scott and Pumpa.
Barnett hardly seemed to raise a sweat as he went on to win in a swift time of 12min 5sec. Roberts crossed the line second and a sprint finish saw Pumpa just defeat Scott for third. Fastest female and Queen of the Mountain was Susie Ellis, in a time of 14min 37sec.
After handicaps were applied, Col Barnett also took out the Aggregate section, with Mark Pumpa second and Ray Scott third.
A small field of six juniors set off on the same challenging 3km course. Nat Watson soon took the lead and was unchallenged, crossing the line first to be Junior King of the Mountain, in a time of 14min 39sec.
The minor placings changed frequently between Emily Parnaby, Thomas Blair and Naomi Jamieson, until Parnaby pulled away with 400m to go to cross the line second with Jamieson coming home third.
After handicaps were applied, Nat Watson also won the Aggregate section, with Shaun Parnaby second and Naomi Jamieson third. Emily Parnaby was the fastest junior female in a time of 15min 38sec.
Six sub-juniors lined up for a more gentle 1km out and back course. Liam Kean lead the field off and wasn’t headed, recording the fastest time of 4min 6sec.
Handicap winner was young Liam Burns, who put in another outstanding run, with the consistent Elly Barnett second and also running the fastest sub-junior girl time of 5min 6sec. Tobias Blair ran well for third.