Stawell Amateur Athletic Club runner Kelvin Mills was pushed to the limit by a fast finishing Peter Steggall, when he narrowly claimed victory in last Saturdays 8km Tylers Hardware Handicap.
The race was run along the banks of Horsham’s Wimmera River.
Starting from a mid field mark in the 25 strong field, Horsham runner Mills found the home course to his liking. Giving the front marker 13 minutes, and with 14 runners ahead of him, Mills set out at a fast but steady pace.
By the half way point Gary Saunders had overtaken Carolyn Lehmann , and led for the next few kilometres. However the final 1500m saw the whole field start to converge. With 800m to go, the race was still wide open.
Alexa Duke was running strongly and looked like she might hold on to win, ahead of Kelvin Mills. Peter Steggall had attacked the race from the start and was rapidly closing in on the leaders. Adrian Tyler was not far behind, and backmarker Col Barnett was also weaving his way through the field.
With 100m to go, Duke was overtaken by Mills, but Steggall was still closing in on both of them. Mills dug deep and managed to hold on to cross the line 2 seconds ahead of Steggall, who had reeled in Duke with only 20m to go. Duke finished 1 second behind Steggall for third.
Backmarker Steve Page put in a fantastic run to post the fastest race time of 27 minutes 35sec. Alexa Duke was the fastest female in a time of 38 minutes.
The junior 3km event was dominated by Greta Duke, who lead from start to finish. Backmarker Daniel Faravoni ran well to get up for second with Emily Parnaby just edging out brother Shaun for third.
Faravoni posted the fastest junior time of 12 minutes 52sec, with Emily Parnaby the fastest female in a time of 13 minutes 9sec.
Ruby Jeffrey ran strongly in the sub-junior 1.5km handicap to take out a convincing win from Liam Burns, with Elly Barnett third.
Liam Burns posted the fastest sub-junior time of 7 minutes 4sec. Elly Barnett was the fastest sub-junior girl in 7 minutes 19sec.