Gaynor Radovic broke an eight year drought with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club when she scored a plucky win in the 6 ½ kilometre Telstra Store Handicap at Horsham last Sunday.
Showing her liking for the flat and fast courses that enable her to get some rhythm into her running, Gaynor looked a probable winner when she turned in front at the half-way mark. She then defied the efforts of backmakers to run her down.
Despite a determined effort from local lad Glenn Ryan, Gaynor easily staved off the challenge to win by just on a minute with consistent placegetter, Rhonda Clark, battling on for third.
Gaynor, who describes herself as “someone who runs for fun”, enjoyed a stellar year with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club in 2010, winning the Keith Haymes Senior Aggregate, despite not winning a race for the entire season. She had, however, accumulated enough points from minor placings – three seconds, four thirds and two fourths – to win the prize.
Not surprisingly, Gaynor could not remember the last time she had tasted victory with the club. But a trawl through the archives revealed that she previously won the aggregate, the club’s prestige award, in the 2003 season which also marked her last win – in the 8km Howden’s of Stawell Handicap.
At a post-race gathering of club members and visitors at Gary and Sharon Howden’s house (a big thank you to Gary and Sharon!!), Gaynor explained: “After the 2003 season, the kids’ sport had priority. I was ferrying them both between football and netball matches so I took a break from Saturday racing and ran on Sunday with the Ararat club instead.”
Gaynor admits that her running goals are modest as she happily prepares for either the Adelaide or Gold Coast Half-Marathons later in the year.
“I’ve run two Melbourne marathons and think I’ve got one more in me,” the cheery veteran said, “but that still might be some time away.”
Fastest time for the Horsham race was the 24 minutes 45 seconds, recorded by dashing Dave McAllister, who is on target for a tilt at the Great Ocean Road Marathon in a week’s time.
It was a clean sweep for the ladies at Horsham with Paris Panozzo out pacing the boys, Tobias Blair and Reine Mackley, in the four kilometre junior event, and Mia Ponozzo took out the sub-junior race.
By Keith Lofthouse