Stawell Amateur Athletic Club held the Charlie Jones Handicap over a 5 km course through the Ironbark forest near Stawell on Saturday. The race was contested by twenty-seven senior runners in perfect conditions.
The course was undulating with the last kilometre being all uphill. The conditions seemed to suit the in form back marker, Horsham runner Col Barnett, who edged out Rhonda Clark in the closing stages of the race. Third place went to Rupanyup runner Craig Turner.
Col Barnett also recorded the fastest time of 18 min 47 sec.
With handicaps readjusted for the new season, the minor placings through the rest of the field were closely contested.
New runner Alexa Duke showed form that will have the female field on their toes, as she will be the one to watch in upcoming races.
A record field of fourteen Juniors lined up for the 3 km race, with Emily leading all the way to win in a time of 15 min 46 sec. Thomas put in a good run to finish in second place, followed by Adam in third. Marcus produced the fastest time of 12 min 58 sec.
Twelve Sub-Juniors competed over a 1.5 km course with young Tobias running a strong race to win in a time of 7 min 30 sec. New runner Chris recorded the fastest time of 6 min 3 sec.