Twenty-five senior runners lined up for the Chris Blake Sealed Handicap 3km Championship. Held over a hilly course along Centre Road, in the Iron Bark forest on the edge of Stawell, all runners set off together.
First runners across the line in each section was the winner of the Championship points, then handicaps are applied post-race to determine the handicap winner.
Both senior and junior runners set off together, with some of the junior runners providing stiff competition for many of the senior runners.
Jade Merrett and Kieren Ryan led the field out at a very solid pace, with Ray Scott, Gary Howden and Nathaniel Warren not far behind. In form junior Daniel Faravoni put in another great run to keep the seniors leaders in sights.
Over the final kilometre, Merrett was too strong for Ryan and drew away to take line honours and the Open Championship points with Ryan second. Ray Scott was not far behind to take the Vet Championship points ahead of Gary Howden.
Merrett’s time was 10min 34sec.
First woman home was the ever consistant Susie Ellis, who claimed both the Open and Vets Championship points with the fastest women’s time of 12min 30sec.
After handicaps were applied, Greta Duke claimed her first win as a senior runner, with Nathaniel Warren second, and Alexa Duke third.
Daniel Faravoni blitzed the junior field to finish 6th overall in the senior field, and take the Junior Championship points in a time of 12min 4sec. Emily Parnaby ran another good race to take the Junior Girls Championship in a time of 13min 9sec.
After handicaps were applied, Hugh Scott claimed the win, from Emma Kelly and Emily Parnaby.
Sub-junior Liam Scott competed in the junior 3km, running well to finish 4th overall, then fronted up for the sub-junior race afterwards! Scott took out line honours, with the fastest sub-junior time of 4min 8sec. Fastest sub-junior girl was Somer Darnell in 5min 19sec.
After handicaps were applied, Elly Atherton was the winner, from Tobias Blair. Liam Burns ran well again to come in third.