Grey-bearded veteran Terry Jenkins, who broke a sixteen-year drought by winning a Stawell Amateur Athletic Club race on June 3, received a time penalty, but still beat the handicapper by scoring back-to-back wins at Horsham last Saturday.
In the five kilometre race on June 3, Jenkins gave his old training mate, Stephen Baird, 4.30 minutes start and his winning margin was 0.37 seconds.
In the 6.5 kilometre Telstra Shop Handicap, Jenkins had to concede 5.50 minutes to the front-running Baird, but gradually reeled in the tiring leader within sight of the finish and drew clear to score by a safe margin of nine seconds. Jess Cass led the ladies into third place.
At sixty-nine-years of age, Jenkins is surely too old to improve enough to chop at least two minutes off the time he was reasonably expected to run, but Jenkins, missing from action for most of those 16 years, has had a “re-birthing” since his breakthrough win and has ramped up his training.
“I really didn’t have enough kilometres in my legs in that first win and I only did about 25 kilometres on the training track. But since then I’ve built up to 47 kms a week. I’m just old enough to realise that you don’t get anywhere without hard work.”
The double drought-breaker, nonetheless, surprised him, especially when Baird, with about one kilometre to run, seemed to have a lead beg enough to win a Melbourne Cup.
“The flat course really suited me, but I only really gave myself a chance in the last 200 metres,” Jenkins said. “Someone asked me if I thought about letting Steve have this one but, as I’ve always said, there’s no such thing as a fun run.”
The club returns to Stawell this Sunday is the eight kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial from the aerodrome car park off Pipetrack Road.
In preparation, Jenkins has vowed to further increase his training schedule to “eight to ten kilometres” a day.
In the Sub Junior division of the Telstra, birthday boy Jordan Nitschke celebrated with a gutsy win over Chloe Hunter and Kayla Membrey.