Bob’s Freeloaders relay team showed they were made of sterner stuff than their name implies when they came from behind to clinch victory in the closing stages of last Saturdays Dugdale Family Relays.
Thirty Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runners competed in six teams of five runners each, over a 1.9km course. Each team consisted of 3 senior and a junior runner, all completing two legs of the course, and one sub-junior runner completing one leg only, making 9 laps all up.
The sub-junior runners set off first, with Steggall’s Stragglers team member Liam Scott soon opening up a big lead over Macca’s Mercenaries Elly Barnett. Close behind was Liam Burns for Gary’s Saunterers, while Georgia Barnett from Bob’s Freeloaders was in fourth place as they came through for the first change.
Over the next five laps, Steggall’s Stragglers other team members of Peter Steggall, John Kelly, Emma Kelly and Carol Lehmann kept their team in the lead, although with an ever reducing margin. Bob’s Freeloaders team members of Bob Freeland, Peter Blair, Stan Watson and Emily Parnaby moved into third place ahead of Gary’s Saunterers, Duke’s Dawdlers and Kelvin’s Crawlers.
With 3 legs to go, Peter Blair took Bob’s Freeloaders to the lead, relegating Steggall’s Stragglers to second place, before they slipped further back on the next leg behind Macca’s Mercenaries.
Stan Watson ran the final leg for Bob’s Freeloaders, and had to fight off a strong challenge from John Kelly, who had already passed Gary Howden. However Watson hung on to give Bob’s Freeloaders the win, with Kelly of Steggall’s Stragglers not far behind in second place.
Howden came in third for Macca’s Mercenaries, cheered on by the rest of the team of Ivan McDonald, Meg Parnaby, Shaun Parnaby and Elly Barnett.
Gary’s Saunderers finished fourth, Duke’s Dawdlers fifth, and Kelvin’s Crawlers finished sixth.