A smaller field of 18 senior Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runners fronted up in cold gusty conditions to tackle the 8km Oscar Furniture Handicap. The race was held around the Centre Road area of the Iron Bark Reserve, north of the clubrooms at North Park.
Carolyn Lehmann lead the field away, followed by Hanne Blair and Gary Saunders. John Collins was next with Alexa Duke not far behind.
The first part of the course was predominantly down hill, and Duke set a cracking pace, soon reeling in Collins. Further back in the field, Stan Watson and Paul Atherton were running well, as were Kelvin Mills and Paul Atherton.
By the halfway point, Duke had the front markers in her sights, and with 1500 metres to go she overtook Lehmann. Turning the last corner, with a 600m uphill run to the finish, Hanne Blair still lead the field, followed by Saunders, and Duke. Fifty meters back Stan Watson was also closing in, hotly pursued by a fast finishing Ray Scott.
Not being a good hill runner, Saunders was soon overtaken by Duke, who turned up the power to reel in Blair only 30m from the line. Duke went on to win by a mere 2 seconds from Hanne Blair, with Ray Scott storming home to overtake Saunders and Watson for third place, 3 seconds behind Blair.
Fastest race time went to Col Barnett with 30 minutes. Fastest female was Susie Ellis in 36 minutes 1sec.
The juniors tackled a 3000m course, with front marker Emma Kelly leading all the way to score a good win over Shaun Parnaby. Emily Parnaby managed to hold off Nat Watson for third.
Watson ran the quickest junior time of 12 minutes 44sec, with Emily Parnaby the fastest girl with 13 minutes 12sec.
The sub-junior runners competed over a 1000m course. With 150m to go, Layla Atherton led the field, but was soon passed by Georgia Barnett. Elly Barnett was also closing in fast, and soon took the lead from her sister to go on to win. Georgia held on for second, with Liam Scott flying home to grab third from Layla Atherton.
Liam Scott ran the fastest sub-junior time of 4 minutes 37sec. Elly Barnett was the fastest sub-junior girl in 5 minutes 6sec.