After 21 years in Adelaide, the widow of Stawell Gift hall of famer Lindsay Kent has returned to Stawell, and has taken a unit at Eventide.
Mary Kent was born in Tasmania, and worked for a mining company in Queenstown, where she met an itinerant miner who would be her husband for 38 years.
Born at Nyah West in 1928, the son of a struggling farmer, young Lindsay would run the 3km to school and back each day in tattered shoes that were regularly stuffed with cardboard to fill the holes.
After wins at regional carnivals in Tasmania and making a final of the Burnie Gift, Kent was urged to consider a tilt at Stawell and ventured back across the Bass Strait in 1956 to try his luck.
He was told that, at 28, he was "too old."
Two years of disappointment and frustration with injury followed, but in 1958 he won the Jack Donaldson 200 metres and was hooked for the rest of his life.
The lure of the Gift compelled Lindsay, with Mary by his side, to settle in Stawell. He briefly played football with the Warriors, later to umpire before he gave up the sport to focus on his running.
He built stamina and endurance racing Sundays with the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club, which has managed the Easter Sunday Lindsay Kent Memorial Fun Run since his death after a second heart attack in 1996.
To this day, Mary still contributes generously to that club and the Stawell Amateurs, which unite early in their seasons for an 8km race commemorating her "soul mate."
"I was lucky to meet him. He was a wonderful husband and father (of four). He was a fairly quiet man, without being overly reserved. But running was his life and it's only natural that he was more outgoing with friends who had running in common."
While Lindsay trained and raced, Mary busied herself first working for Modern Dairies and Stawell Woollen Mills. For 19 years until retirement, she was a library assistant at the Stawell High School.
"The big change I've noticed in Stawell is all the businesses that have closed down, but that's not peculiar to Stawell. That's happening in small towns everywhere."
These days, Mrs Kent spends her time renewing old friendships, enjoying her family, six grandchildren, and reading, mostly mysteries and biographies.
After winning the Donaldson, Kent won the Arthur Postle in 1964 and was second in the Gift.
He won the Sportsman's 100 metres in 1975 and also made the Gift final in 1961.