After a long summer break, Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runners were keen to get back into cross country running again, although the many Horsham triathletes now lining up for the winter cross country season, after a summer of training and racing, will most likely prove hard to beat in the early races.
A good field of 22 senior runners turned out for the 5000m Sealed Handicap, held over a hilly course in the Ironbarks on the edge of town.
Last years Club Champion Colin Barnett set a fast pace right from the start, eventually going on to record the fastest time of the day with 18min 17sec.
The fastest female was Susie Ellis in a time of 25min 01sec. After handicaps were applied it was Bob Freeland who emerged the winner from Gary Howden, with Patrick Ellis in third place.
The junior race was run over a hard 2000m course and saw Nathan Watson, stepping up to his first junior race from being a sub-junior last year, win the Handicap from Karl Scott and with Hugh Scott third.
Karl Scott was first runner home and ran the fastest time of 8min 18sec. Fastest girl was Naomi Jamieson in 9min 19sec.
A field of seven sub-juniors ran a 1000m race along a track in the Ironbarks with Elly Barnett winning the Handicap by only one second from Tobias Blair, with Daniel Op de Coul coming in third. Elly was also the fastest girl in the sub-juniors with a time of 5min 11sec.
Daniel was first home and ran the fastest sub-junior time of 4min 49sec.