Stawell Amateur Athletic Club secretary Naomi Hunter was running on adrenalin when she scooted to a surprisingly easy win in the five kilometre Ivan McDonald Handicap at Stawell's Big Hill last Saturday.
Hunter found herself burdened by extra duties due to the absence of club President, Jess Cass, who was holidaying in New South Wales, and Vice President Simon Edge who became a father for the first time last Tuesday.
It had been a stressful morning, with husband David Hunter on a late call-up to mark the course, but by the time the race got underway in blustery conditions all that stress was converted to nervous energy and Hunter never gave the chasers a chance.
"I'd already decided to go out as hard as I could on the downhill to set up the gap I probably needed for the uphill," the winner, who aims to run a half-marathon in Melbourne next month, said.
In the one kilometre Sub Juniors race at the bottom of the hill, Eva Hurley deserved her maiden win after a ding dong battle with brothers Joshua and Dale Robinson.
The club's season finale on Saturday is the three kilometre Chris Blake Handicap which starts at 3pm on the North Park athletic track. Fun runners welcome.
Adrian van Raaphorst notched an historic double last Sunday when he won the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club's Fenn Family Handicap for the fourth time since 2004. Having won the Thompson Family Handicap for the first time in June, the 594 start veteran also became the first to win the eight-kilometre "bookend" events at the same venue in the one year.
Punching his arms for momentum in his typically pugnacious style, Van Raaphorst never looked likely to lose
Paul Fenn, a quality runner almost thirty years younger than the winner, recorded fastest time, a scintillating 30.30 minutes in the rolling hills, but even he couldn't overcome a brutal handicap, giving 18 minutes start to Van Raaphorst.
It was left to other "youngsters" Sue Blizzard and Andrew Reynolds to fill the podium beside the winner.
The club travels to Stawell this Sunday for the five kilometre Clem Hall Memorial. Fun runners welcome.