Howden Charges to Victory

Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runner Gary Howden took the mud and hills in his stride last Saturday, surging to victory in the McDonald’s Hairdressing Handicap.

After steadily improving over the past few weeks, Howden notched up his first senior win for this year.

The race was held over a hilly 8km course in the Iron Barks, just out of Stawell, and the cold wet weather kept the numbers down to 10 senior runners.

Gary Saunders led the field away, with Peter Hilbig not far behind. By the half way mark Hilbig had reeled in the front marker and had his sights set for home.However, further back the middle markers were making up ground with Susie Ellis, Ray Scott and Gary Howden setting a good pace.

In the closing stages of the raced, Howden powered up the final hills to grab the lead, charging to the line 30secs ahead of Hilbig. Ray Scott crossed the line in third place.

Nathaniel Warren ran the fastest time of the day with 31 minutes 40 sec. Susie Ellis was the fastest female in a time of 35 minutes 49 sec.

The juniors tackled a 4km course with Jed Prouse leading the field away. However, by the half way mark Tobias Blair had reeled him in but had to hold off a strong challenge from Paris Panozzo, who was hot on his heels.

Blair came in first with Panozzo second, and Prouse third. Paris Panozzo ran the fastest time of 20mins 7secs.

The sub-juniors set off over a 1km out and back course, with Mia Panozzo and Somer Darnell heading off together. It was a close race the whole way but Panozzo proved to be too good in the final dash to the line, winning by only one second from Darnell.

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