Anthony Morey, who works in the field of exploration with the Stawell Gold Mine, struck gold himself in the Ironbarks Forest last Saturday by winning the Barham Insurance Handicap at only his third start with the club.
Anthony, 32, hadn’t lined up for the club since finishing in the middle of the field in the 16 kilometre Charlie Jones Handicap in June last year, but won the Barham 5k on a minimum of training. He surprised himself as much as his more seasoned opposition.
“I wasn’t able to continue running in 2010 because I had to have emergency surgery when my appendix became severely inflamed,” he said. “That put me out of business for a very long time and I’ve really only just started running again. By that I mean I’ve been averaging 8k a week for the past three weeks, so 24k in total isn’t much to build a season on.”
It was enough, however, to dash over the distance in an impressive 20 minutes and 45 seconds to defeat the in-form Col Barnett. Horsham runner Glenn Ryan, a newcomer to the club, posted his first podium finish in coming third.
The much decorated Col recorded the fastest time of 19.06 minutes, but when handicaps were applied failed to beat Anthony by 19 seconds.
Anthony describes himself as someone who “just runs for fun,” and comes from the ranks of fun runners, having taken on Puffing Billy “a few times.” He clearly has natural ability, and should be capable of winning a second race before the end of the season, once the benefits of regular competition and increased training kicks in.
In the junior divisions of the Barham Handicap it was a big weekend for the O’Flynns, with Luca O’Flynn proving just too strong for Paris Panozzo over the 2 kilometre course. Lily O’Flynn won the sub-juniors from Layla Atherton.
By Keith Lofthouse