A large field of runners gathered for the first of three combined races with the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club at Three Jacks Track in the Ironbark State Forest with 31 SAAC runners joining SACCC.
The two clubs enjoy coming together to run and Ararat locals were happy to leave the drizzle of rain in Ararat for the sunshine in Stawell.
The sub-junior dash was the first run of the morning with new member Christian Clarke taking out first place once handicaps were applied, with Amber Baker coming in second and Alfie Freeland in third, also running the fastest time over the 1km course with a speedy time of 4:58.
A sealed start for junior and senior runners saw a huge crowd take off to tackle their respective 3km or 5km loop.
Timekeepers were kept busy with the first runners back in no time, crossing the line with smiles on their faces.
Hunter Davies blitzed the juniors field by more than a minute once handicaps were applied, with an adjusted race time of 21:35. Joseph Clarke came in second, followed by Grace Monaghan who is taking after her dad and siblings and proving to be a fantastic runner.
The winner in the seniors was Bob Freeland in a time of 38:07. Bob has been running well this season and improving his time each week, but was still surprised to hear his name being read out as a first place in the Kieran Ryan Handicap. He was chuffed to win a race sponsored by Kieran who grew up running with the Club.
The club’s next race is the Running Company Handicap on Sunday the 4th of June. Meeting 9 am at the Keith Haymes Clubrooms at North Park. A morning tea and raffle will be held after the run to raise funds and awareness for the May 50k supporting those living with MS.