Justice for Justine

After being pipped on the post the previous week, Justine Tracey stormed to her second win of a record-breaking season with the club – the twelfth win by a female in 18 races.

Never before in our 46-year history have the “fairer sex” handed out such a whipping to the males. They didn’t so much as break all records with their dominant dozen, they smashed them to smithereens and vaporised them!

Leggy Meggy Boan won three races, and there were doubles to Keith Haymes Aggregate winner Sharon Howden and to Tracey.

Sharon, Meggy and Rhonda Clark scored 366 aggregate points between them and were the only three of 40 senior runners who raced to crack triple figures.

After an unlucky second to only the sixth winning male the week before, Justine made swift amends for that narrow defeat by running a gutsy five kilometres, twice climbing Stawell’s Big Hill to win the Ivan McDonald Hairdressing Handicap by 0.15 seconds from last year’s winner, Rick Price.

A first season runner, Justine only took on the challenge of competitive running after a bet with a workmate. The single mother gave up “cold turkey” on her smoking habit and has marvelled at the way the sport has changed her life.

Justine recalled the time she turned up for her first start with the club last April and sat in her car for 10 minutes having second thoughts.

“For a while I thought I wouldn’t get out of the car. I felt so intimidated that I’d be too slow and that I’d make a fool of myself,” she explained.
“But that never happened. The people have been great; no one begrudges anyone a win and everyone just seems to enjoy the success of others.”

At the post-race presentation night, Nathaniel Warren was declared the Open Male Champion for the third time, and Susie Ellis won the Open Female. The Howdens, Gary and Sharon snared the Ian Notting Veteran Male and Female prizes.

Rhonda Clark and Meggy Boan shared the Ray Rickard Teams Trophy, while a beaming Jessica Boan was the Robert Henry Freeland Memorial Junior Aggregate Champion.

Nathan Stoate, who impressed with his speed and determination in his few starts, received an encouragement award and Alex Boan was a popular winner of the Sub Junior Participant Award.

By Keith Lofthouse

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