Carolyn Lehmann led all the way to take out the McDonald’s Hairdressing Handicap, held over a hilly 8km bushland course, in cool overcast conditions.
The twenty senior runners completed 2 circuits of the 4km course. Starting along Centre Rd, in the bushland on the edge of Stawell, Carolyn Lehmann led the field away, setting a strong, steady pace.
By the half way point, Lehmann still had a good lead over Gary Saunders, with mid field runners Ilana Jorgensen, Ivan McDonald and Meg Parnaby also running well. Backmarker Jade Merrett had also established contact with the field, and was starting to move through the trailing runners.
Turning onto Centre Rd for the final time, Lehmann was still feeling good, and made for home.
However, the field was steadily closing in, a situation Lehmann has experienced too often lately, where she is swamped by other runners within sight of the finish.
Maintaining a steady rhythm, she topped the last hill with a good 100m lead over Ilana Jorgensen, and found enough over the remaining downhill stretch to finish 15 seconds ahead of Jorgensen.
Ivan McDonald ran a good race to finish third, a further 10 seconds behind.
Jade Merrett again posted the fastest race time of 29min 43sec, with Ilana Jorgensen the quickest female in 38min 20sec.
The juniors ran a single lap of the same 4km course, with Hugh Scott leading all the way to score a clear win from Nat Watson, with Emma Kelly out kicking Emily Parnaby over the final 200m for third place.
Fastest junior time went to Nat Watson with 16min 34sec. Emma Kelly was the quickest junior girl in 18min 48sec.
The sub-juniors ran an out and back 2 kilometre event, with Liam Burns running well to win by 22sec from the fast finishing backmarker, Liam Scott. India Burns managed to hold out Elly Barnett for third place.
Liam Scott ran the best sub-junior time of 8min 33sec, and Elly Barnett was the fastest sub-junior girl in a time of 10min 49sec.