Matilda Waltzes to a Running Beat

Waltzing Matilda Iglesias is a girl who seems constantly on the move.

She was at Werribee last week for the Mansion Fun Run; is in Melbourne next week for the Wings for Life World Run; she’ll Run the Gap at Halls Gap on May 22, the Run Forrest trail run through the Otway Ranges in June and the Peaks and Trails Run at Dunkeld in August.

Iglesias is a walking – no, running – encyclopaedia on all the runs about the place and somehow she still finds time to compete on most Saturdays with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club.

All the training, trail running, endurance testing and dedication to her sport was rewarded again last Saturday when she ran the fastest 6.5 kilometres of her life to win the Telstra Shop Handicap at Horsham.

The fresh-faced 36-year-old, so used to hard slogs through steep hills and rugged terrain, made easy pickings of the flat, fast riverside course on the outskirts of Horsham to cover the distance in a tidy 30.12 minutes.

Dave Hunter chased her all the way but Iglesias always seemed to have his measure and opened up a gap of 20 seconds on the runner-up by the time they reached the timekeeper. Rob Blythman, who raced for the first time this season, was a promising third ahead of race sponsor Gary Howden who is also on the comeback trail.

Iglesias is often told that she “keeps on improving” but had her doubts during the pre-season.

“It was so hot to train over summer that I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere, but that all changed once things started to cool down,” she said.

“The night training I’ve been doing for the Wings for Life has helped and club racing, now that it has started up again, gives you the race fitness you can’t get from training.”

The club has a bye this Mothers Day weekend but returns to Stawell on Saturday, May 14 for the eight kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial, a combined run with the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club.

Fun runners can check the club websites for details.

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