A warm up in the Lindsay Kent Memorial Fun Run at Stawell on April 4 was the perfect tune-up for cross-country rookie Drew Christian who six days later won the first race of his adult life at Concongella last Saturday, just weeks before he turned fifty.
Christian’s competitive juices were ignited by a second on debut with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club last month, and he bolted to a decisive win in the 5.5 kilometre Hunter Gardens and Landscaping Handicap with almost a minute to spare from runner-up Elise Monaghan.
Christian turned to running after giving up the gym due to “golfer’s elbow,” a painful form of tendonitis that refused to heal.
“I knew I had to do something to keep fit,” Christian said, “and running is something I can do with the kids because the club has shorter races for them as well.”
Earlier, son Cameron had skipped to his maiden win in the one kilometre Sub-Junior division of the race with his sister, Claire, just 16 seconds behind.
“Having seen what Cameron did, I wasn’t going to just go out for a jog so I made sure I stuck with the faster runners for as long as I could.”
Blessed with natural ability, Christian has never trained or raced over a distance greater than ten kilometres, which would confound all of the seasoned runners who chased him.
“I might think of running a half-marathon one day, but I’m not sure if my body will stand up to it. I have a niggling heel problem that needs to be watched, so I won’t be rushing into anything I can’t handle.”
The club ventures to Stawell’s Grampians Rail Trail on Saturday, starting at 10am from Hooper Track, for the five kilometre Wimmera Myotherapy Handicap. Fun runners are welcome.