Endurance athlete Susie Ellis warmed up for a cold climate Iron Man event in Switzerland in July when she chased down the tearaway leader to headline an all-girl trifecta in the five kilometre Barham Insurance Handicap at Stawell last Saturday.
The globetrotting Susie, who trains relentlessly and travels to some of the world’s most challenging races, continued the female dominance of Stawell Amateur Athletic Club events by overpowering Matilda Iglesias in the last 400 metres to surge to a 28 seconds win, with Selina Heard-Price a close third.
It was Susie’s first win in 20 starts since she was the crowned the club’s Queen of the Mountain at Halls Gap in 2011. Females have now won 14 of the last 20 club races, though it must be said that many of the males in recent times have succumbed to injuries and a lack of fitness.
No club athlete is fitter than “Super Susie” who frequently rides to Stawell from her base in Horsham before competing in a race. She is now in the process of “ramping up” her distance training for the Great Ocean Road Marathon in May – her major goal before the Iron Man which comprises a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and 42.2 km run to the finish in Zurich.
Summer temperatures in Switzerland average at around 24C which is about equivalent to the balmy conditions in the Ironbarks last weekend but the low overnight average of 12C means that Susie could be swimming in icy waters, which is not her favourite leg of any race.
“Wet suits and woollens mean you can’t exactly travel light,” she said.
Following in the footsteps of his mum, Meggy, who won the opening race on the SAAC calendar a week ago, young Alex Boan chimed in with a tenacious win over Alicia Chaplin in the Sub-Junior race over one kilometre
By Keith Lofthouse