Allison Dugdale, after a year off to have a baby, has come back stronger than ever to take out the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club Time Keeper’s Sealed Handicap 5km Championship (what a mouthfull!) last Saturday.
The race was held over a challenging 5000m course through the Iron Bark Reserve north of Stawell. Being a combined handicap and championship race, all senior and junior runners started together, with the first runner across the line in the senior and junior sections taking the Championship points. After the race, handicaps were applied to determine the actual race winner (sealed handicap).
A good field of 27 senior runners set off over the hilly course, with the stronger runners soon showing out well. Midway through the race, Col Barnett had opened a handy lead over Charlie Jones and Jon Dugdale. Paul Atherton and Alexa Duke were also putting in good runs. Allison Dugdale, normally a front marker, was demonstrating plenty of grit and determination further back.
However, Col Barnett was too strong and pulled away to take line honours and the Championship points in a blistering time of 17min 51sec. Second across the line was Charlie Jones followed by Jon Dugdale. Susie Ellis was the first female home and took the Ladies Championship points in a time of 20min 54sec, from Fiona O’Brien and Alexa Duke.
After handicaps were applied, Allison Dugdale claimed a well earned race win, to add to her third placing last week from only two races this season! In form runners Paul Atherton and Alexa Duke were second and third respectively, and both are tips as winners in the near future.
A small field of 7 juniors also tackled the same 5000m course, spurred on by the competition of the senior runners. Thomas Blair was first across the line to take the Junior Championship points in a good time of 21min 13sec, with Nat Watson not too far behind.
Ilana Jorgensen was first girl home taking out the Junior Girls Championship in a time of 22min 09sec, with Emily Parnaby the second girl home.
After handicaps were applied, the ever consistent Ilana Jorgensen also claimed the race win, from Nat Watson in second place and Thomas Blair third.
Ten sub-juniors set out on a 1000m undulating course, with the youngest runner in the field, 5 year old Liam Burns taking out his first ever race win. Georgia Barnett put in a good effort to come in second, with Elly Atherton, another new runner, coming in third.
Liam Scott ran the fastest sub-junior time of 4min 27sec, one second faster than Richard Dugdale. Fastest sub-junior girl was Elly Barnett with 5min 1sec.