Sam Gason wins in two gasps

Sam Gason achieved a rare accidental double by winning two races within one last Sunday.

Sam Gason winning the Garry Rice Vineyards Handicap at Concongella.

Sam Gason winning the Garry Rice Vineyards Handicap at Concongella.

The 21-year-old running sophomore raised his arms in a victory salute twice in the 6.5 kilometre Garry Rice Vineyards Handicap at Concongella.

After unleashing a powerful sprint to steam past veteran Adrian van Raaphorst in front of bewildered timekeepers Gason was told that he had, in fact, another lap to complete the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club event.

The stunned look on his face was apparently priceless, but he then had to pick himself up and chase hard after club stalwart Geoff Ryan, who had set up a handy break in search of rare back to back wins.

Ultimately the extra exertion may have been a blessing in disguise because Gason's fastest time - a sparkling 27.55 minutes - was his first for the season.

With adrenaline surging in his veins the talented youngster mowed down the tearaway leader and finally finished the race with just on 0.50 seconds to spare from consistent placegetters Jack Trounson and Ian McCready with Ryan clinging on to be the next home.

One observer noted that Gason had in reality completed four races in two hours.

After finishing the 12 kilometre Run the Gap, Gason left Halls Gap at 9.20am and raced to be at the Vineyards start by 10.15am.

"I really only decided to run because (club mate) Anthony Mellors also ran the Gap and said he was off to the vineyards, so I thought I should turn up as well," Gason said.

"I didn't expect to do anything startling.

"Then the competitive juices kicked in and I guess kept me going."

Gason trains two or three times a week in the vicinity of Ararat's Chalambar golf course but chooses longer distance events, like Willaura's Farm to Pub (16.2km), the Great Ocean Road (14km) and Run the Gap to boost his endurance.

The club combines with the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club at 2pm tomorrow for the eight kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial Handicap starting from the car park at the rear of Stawell Airport.

Fun runners are welcome and should contact the club of 5356 2493 for details.


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