Jakob Davis scored one of the more remarkable wins in the fifty-five year history of the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club when he ran solo in the Advance Bricks and Pavers Handicap and then dashed off to play football at Natimuk.
The thirty-one year old Davis was given a handicap before the main body of the field started in the 6.5 kilometre event, which demanded that he run at least 17.15 minutes faster than seventy-nine year-old Gary Saunders, the calculated slowest runner in the race.
“I needed to get to Natimuk for my first game in two years and the only way I could find time to do that was to go off at the same time as Gary. I ran as fast as I could early on, knowing that the long uphill run to the finish would slow me down.”
The urgency clearly pumped magically into Davis’s veins, flying fleet-of-foot on a tough, climbing course through Stawell’s Ironbarks Forest, to finish the race long before anyone else…but just by nine solitary seconds from Jess Cass once handicaps were applied.
The rush was the motivator David needed to break through for his maiden win with the club after seven from seven top ten finishes this season and a fourth the closest he had been to a win.
He made it to Natimuk just 15 minutes before kick-off in his Swifts strip, struggled through the first quarter with aching muscles but stuck it out it to celebrate a win.
“I wanted to run because running is first for me now and footy is second,” the winner said.
But it was the quest for footy-level fitness drew Davis back to the club after an absence of nearly twenty years.
“I ran with the (Ray) Scott boys as a junior, then got involved with footy and golf, but now I’m back running again and training on an app programme with my two border collies.”
In the Sub Juniors one kilometre scamper, Will Freeland and Nash Santuccione were locked in another thrilling clash, with Will the winner on handicap and Kade Santuccione splitting them.
The club meets with the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club on Saturday for the five kilometre Concongella Vineyards Handicap, a unique experience twisting through the vines.