The Stawell Amateur Athletic Club held its final race for the season over the usual 5km Big Hill course, in cold, often drizzly conditions. Twenty-four senior runners lined up for the start, with Aggregate leader Peter Steggall running in spite of a cold, to protect his 10 point margin over Col Barnett. Steggall only needed to finish to clinch the Aggregate for 2005.
Course marker Charlie Jones was kept busy retrieving course markers from the bushes, with some local low life proving to be a constant problem.
The steep inclines and fast downhills were more suited to the fitter, stronger runners, with Peter Blair showing good form from his mid field mark. Over the second of the two laps, back markers Col Barnett, Jon Dugdale and Garry Rice were also moving rapidly through the field, and with 150 metres to go, had race leader Peter Blair in their sights.
Blair still had a handy six second lead over Dugdale but Barnett was only a further seven seconds back and flying home.
Blair set off up the final hill and down the short finishing straight, just managing to hold off Dugdale to cross the line with a three second advantage. Barnett was third one second behind. Garry Rice came in fourth.
Col Barnett ran the fastest race time of 17min 44sec, with the fastest female time of 20min 51sec recorded by Susie Ellis.
The juniors also ran over the same 5km course, and many beat the senior runners home. The Junior Aggregate was still up for grabs, with Nat Watson holding a 2 point advantage over Thomas Blair, with Emily Parnaby a chance to draw with Watson if she won. Blair needed to win the race to overtake Watson, but could only manage fourth place, while Parnaby came in third, even though she took a whopping 2 minutes 10 sec off her previous best for that distance.
The junior race was won by Greta Duke, on the comeback trail after the time off with the flu. Greta went out hard from the start, and was not headed. Jacinta Cameron ran well and came in second while Emily Parnaby was third.
Fastest junior was Thomas Blair with 19min 58sec, and the fastest junior girl was Emily Parnaby in 21min 38sec.
The sub-juniors ran a 1500m course, with Elly Barnett putting in a great run to just hold off a fast finishing Kieran Schneider. Tiny Liam Burns came home strongly to take out third place.
Fastest sub-junior time went to Liam Scott in 5min 3sec, and fastest sub-junior girl was Elly Barnett with 5min 26sec.