Two new Stawell Amateur Athletic Club members, John Kelly and Steve Page, stole the limelight when they took out the major placings in last Saturdays combined Time Keepers Handicap and 5km Championship race, held in the Iron Bark Reserve north of Stawell.
Run as a sealed handicap, all 25 senior runners set off together, with the first runners home taking the championship series points, then handicaps were applied post race to determine the handicap race winner.
Competing in his first race as a club member, Horsham runner Steve Page set a furious pace right from the gun. Col Barnett followed closely for the first few kilometers with Ray Scott, Adrian Tyler, Peter Steggall and John Kelly settling in not far behind.
By the middle stages Page was showing his strength and had and pulled away from Barnett to establish a commanding lead. Ray Scott had broken away from Tyler, Steggall and Kelly, who battled it out for the entire race. Further back Ilana Jorgensen, Susie Ellis and Ivan McDonald were putting in good individual performances.
However, Page powered to the line to easily take out the Open Championship in the fastest time of 17 minutes 29sec. Col Barnett took the Veteran Male Championship, while Susie Ellis was the fastest female in a time of 21 minutes 19sec and claimed the Womens Championship.
After handicaps were applied, recent new member John Kelly scored his first race win, with Ilana Jorgensen just 2 seconds behind. The next 3 runners were separated by only half a second, with Ivan McDonald just edging out Col Barnett and Susie Ellis for third.
The juniors also ran a 5km combined handicap and championship race, with Daniel Faravoni contesting the lead with Nat Watson in the earlier stages of the race. Shaun and Emily Parnaby were further back and making good time.
In the closing stages Faravoni pulled away from Watson to take out the Junior Male Championship in the fastest junior time of 21 minutes 12 sec. Emily Parnaby was first girl home and Junior Female Champion in 24 minutes 2sec.
After handicaps were applied, Shaun Parnaby scored a good race win from Nat Watson second, and Daniel Faravoni third
The sub-juniors ran a 1km race with Elly Barnett just pipping arch rival Tobias Blair for first place. The ever improving Liam Burns was third. Liam Scott was the fastest sub-junior in 3 minutes 55 sec. Elly Barnett was the fastest girl in 4 minutes 25sec.