Jones breaks drought

It's taken three years, forty-five races and a sequence of twenty-nine starts in which he failed, for Charlie Jones to break the ice for a narrow win in the eight kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial Handicap at Stawell last Saturday.

Charlie Jones, winner of the eight kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial Handicap.

Charlie Jones, winner of the eight kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial Handicap.

Mere 100ths of a second separated the tattooed terrier from runner-up Anthony Mellors, prompting Jones, with typical modesty to claim, it was the home town advantage that did it.

It was perhaps a factor, with Jones having designed the course on the outskirts of Stawell Airport himself.

Jones has now won the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club event four times.

"I know all the short cuts and I was wearing a new singlet," he said.

More likely the overdue win came because 2014 is the first time in many years that he has not been club handicapper.

Through his long absence from the winning list Jones refused to give himself a boost because of an unwritten law of professional racing that the handicapper never gives himself a favourable mark.

"For me it's never been about winning and more about being able to start a race and finish it," the 60-year-old veteran said.

He was honoured to receive his sash from Mary Kent.

"Lindsay always said I was one of his favourite runners, and coming from him that's something I've always remembered."

Fastest time was the sizzling 29.12 minutes recorded by Kieran Ryan, representing the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club which shared the race with the Ararat-based club, whose best was Sam Gason, who was more than three minutes behind the flying Ryan.

Best on handicap for Stawell was rookie Kate Collins, that club's first female winner in four races this year at only her fourth start.

"Joining this club has been life changing for me," she said.

"Before this I had never been involved in any kind of organised sport and never run further than seven kilometres at any one time. I'm feeling great and looking forward to running a half-marathon sometime in October."

In the four kilometre junior division of the Kent, Michael Coverdale pipped Rhys Bubb in a closely fought race while Jacob Casey narrowly accounted for Alex Boan at the end of a two kilometre race for sub-juniors.


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