By his own admission 47-year-old Tim Harris won the battle of the bulge but then like a freight train “ran off the rails” and lost the battle all over again.
Harris is a big bloke who has always carried extra weight, but then an unhealthy lot more when he starts to believe the battle is won.
When the Horsham factory worker won his first race with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club at Rupanyup in 2011 he described the experience as “one of the best of my life.”
He’d given away “barbecues and beer” at the time and made spectacular improvement, not only in his waistline. He conquered the “hill of horrors” at Troopers Camp the next year to win the toughest race on the club calendar and has since completed three half marathons.
But it all went a little haywire after the Geelong Half Marathon last February.
With no running goals left to kick, Harris let it all lapse, the bulge not only came back but took over until Harris realised again that only hard work and a lot of hard running would restore his self esteem.
“I could kick myself for not waking up to what was happening,” Harris said after winning the 6.5 kilometre Garry and Rhonda Rice Handicap at the Concongella Vineyards last Saturday – his first win since peaking at Trooper’s Camp three years ago.
His scalps were significant. Former club champions Nathaniel Warren and Col Barnett filled the placings but were a long way behind the winner once handicaps were applied making the comeback even more satisfying.
“It’s been a real struggle and I could of saved myself the trouble if I’d just kept running,” Harris said. “It’s the only thing that works for me, having a goal to run the best I can with the club every week. I’ve now learned a lesson I had to learn twice.”
In the one kilometre Sub Juniors race Olivia Hunter continued her consistent form and gave no-one else a chance in her easy win.
The club returns to the Stawell Rifle Range course tomorrow for the five kilometre Horsham Physiotherapy and Podiatry Handicap. Fun runners are welcome and should meet at the venue from 9.30am.