Stawell Amateur Athletic Club held the Telstra Shop Handicap on Saturday in fine but cold conditions. A field of 28 senior runners lined up for 6.5 km race, held along the banks of the Wimmera River in Horsham.
Starting near the Sound Shell runners proceeded downstream to the Weir, around the board walk and back again. making a very pleasant Saturday afternoon run.
Alexa Duke, who has been running with the club for two years, seemed to be suited to the flat course and looked to be the one to beat with 1km to go, but it was race sponsor and Telstra Shop owner Sharon Howden who produced a strong finishing burst over the last 500m to grab the lead and win, from the fast finishing Susie Ellis, with Alexa Duke holding on to third position.
Susie Ellis, fresh from winning her age group in the Geelong Half Marathon only two weeks ago, ran the fastest female time of 26min 46sec. Colin Barnett was the fastest male with a time of 22min 42sec.
The junior race was run over 3km’s and saw Sophie Alexander having her first race as a junior, stepping up from the sub-junior ranks last year.
She may be a handicappers nightmare, after winning by a clear 40 seconds over an ever improving Harry Steggall, with Marcus Scott running third.
Marcus Scott produced the fastest junior time of 11min 16sec with Naomi Jamieson the fastest junior girl in a time of 12min 48sec.
The sub-juniors ran a 1km dash with 6 year old Georgia Barnett just overtaking Abbey Steggall in the last few meters of the race, to win by just 1 second in a very exciting finish. Daniel Op de Coul came in third.
Liam Scott ran an excellent race to finish with the fastest time for the boys of 3min 42sec with Elly Barnett the fastest girl in a time of 4min 19sec.