2009 Club Champion Nathaniel Warren is hopeful that the successful game plan he carried into last Saturday’s three kilometres dash will secure him back to back championships for 2010. The race was held through the Ironbark forest near Stawell.
The talented cross country runner surprised the flying David McAllister when he took charge at the start of the race and set up a commanding lead over his arch rival, who looked a real threat of stripping Nathaniel of the championship sash this year.
“I knew I had to jump David at the start because he’s been able to sit on my tail and smash me at the end of races a couple of times this season,” a happy Nathaniel said. “I thought he would try and do the same again and I ran scared – make that terrified – because I always imagined that Dave was on my shoulder, just waiting to pounce.”
Like a rabbit chasing a hare, David was always struggling to catch the tearaway whose lead had stretched to a dominant 43 seconds by the end of the race. Nathaniel’s win reversed the trend of recent longer races in which ironman McAllister had proved superior by as much as one minute and 15 seconds over 16km and 33 seconds over 10km.
Nathaniel ran a blistering personal best of 9 minutes 48 seconds on the Ironbarks course and established a comfortable three point lead over David in the Championship with just one race in that series to go. It seems only injury could prevent Nathaniel from achieving his double.
Third to finish in Saturday’s race was 2003 and 2006 Club Champion Col Barnett, who after an absence of a couple of years, is enjoying the thrill of the chase again. Nathaniel was not only first across the line, but was declared the winner on adjusted handicaps over front-markers Bob Freeland and Keith Lofthouse, who were placed for the first time this season.
The junior division of the race was handsomely won by Paris Panozzo from Tobias Blair while her sister Mia took the sub-junior event from Lily O’Flynn.
By Keith Lofthouse