For 6.4 kilometres of the 6.5 kilometre Concongella Vineyards Handicap last Saturday it was a war of attrition between a fresh-faced rookie and a wily veteran…and it came down to a 100 metre sprint that finally blew the greybeard away.
Michelle Dunn’s first win with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club was well overdue after her rare run of four consecutive seconds; twice to fellow rookies and twice more to runners at least twice her age.
A generation separated Dunn from the seventy-one year old runner-up Terry Jenkins but a mere five seconds separated them at the finish.
“We started together and we kept changing places all of the way, but it was Terry who was kicking my butt to keep going when I was feeling the strain,” Dunn said. “I really only run for fun and I don’t think I could have won without his urgings.”
Indeed, the Jenkins heroics probably cost him his first win of the season. He was only dispatched by the younger runner’s late dash and had tried so hard that he briefly looked in need of medical assistance to hold down his breakfast upon reaching the timekeepers.
Dunn was the fourth first-season female of the five to win this year and now, at the half-way mark in 2019, the honours are shared evenly with the men.
The latest winner had joined the club to share the experience with workmates and now trains four times a week, taking advantage of free forty-minute speed sessions at Central Park on Mondays and Run With Chicks on Wednesday nights.
In the Sub Juniors one kilometre dash it was the boy’s time to shine with Jerome Baker holding on bravely to win narrowly from Nate Lyons and Charlie Dunn.
The club travels to Horsham this Saturday to join local members for the 6.5 kilometre Telstra Shop Handicap. Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome.