The winning tradition continued for Canberra visitor Alan Craigie when he won the five kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial Fun Run for the fourth time in the past five years.
At the post race presentation in 2016, Craigie challenged runners to beat him in 2017.
“You won’t but it will be fun to try,” he said.
That pronouncement proved to be prophetic when he led the 240-strong field from start to finish at Stawell racecourse to win in a time of 17.10 minutes, more than 30 seconds slower than his 2016 effort.
“I am getting older and slower,” he said afterwards.
“I don’t know about next year.”
Geelong-based Rachael Thompson, whose family is from Stawell and who was in Stawell at Easter for “every year of her life” was the first female to finish and joked she was “fuelled by chocolate” for the event.
Thompson, 28, who has competed in marathons in India, England and in Europe, dedicated her first win in an open fun run to her grandfather, Keith, who had passed away.
Angus Bonwick, from Melbourne, won the three kilometre Under 15 event for the second year running.
Last year he insisted he share the winning sash with his mate, Liam Kirkwood-Scott, who finished fractionally behind him, but Angus ran 11.28 minutes and was too quick for Liam this year.
Both boys had taken to “serious” running to improve their football.
“I get tagged every week but the fitness I get from running helps me to beat them,” Kirkwood-Scott said.
Stawell Cross Country Club will now prepare for their 50th year, which starts on Saturday.
Long-serving president of the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club Neil Wilde was hopeful the success of Stawell’s first Colour Run and strong regional representation in last Sunday’s Lindsay Kent Memorial Fun Run would help invigorate the club with new memberships as it begins its fiftieth year.
“It’s true that cross country racing on a variety of different courses is more competitive than fun-running,” he said.
“But we wouldn’t have survived for fifty years without our runners enjoying years of fun through healthy competition.”
The SACCC season begins with the five kilometre Rhymney Reef Handicap at the Rhymney cricket ground on Saturday.
The race will start at 9.45am and enquiries on 53562493 are welcome.