Sue Blizzard insisted that her good friend and running mate Shevahn Healy “must win” the first running of the Blizzard Handicap at Ararat last Sunday and Healy was as surprised as anyone when she did.
“I had Sue’s words ringing in my ears when I started the race,” Healy said.
“I never paid much attention to speed because these days I have to listen to my body and run as I feel.
“I’d never won a 10 kilometre race before and really didn’t know where I was going on a course I’d never seen. I just followed the guy in front of me and hoped for the best.”
Read more: Blizzard blitz at Stawell
Healy missed all of the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club’s season in 2017 after a spate of injuries – a hamstring tear, hip soreness and a broken arm.
“Now I’m running with a shin splint problem and mentally I feel scarred by it all but today, for some reason, my legs went faster than my brain,” Healy said after winning the race.
Suddenly six minutes faster than her effort over the same distance at Stawell the week before, Healy found that she had over a minute to spare from Peter Gibson upon reaching the timekeepers.
Sandra Bywaters climbed the podium for the first time this year in third place.
Read more: Hunter chases marathon
Healy’s rapid improvement is in tandem with her increased workload training with Blizzard to run the New York Marathon in November.
“We’re averaging 40 kilometres a week at the moment, in fact I’m going to run another six kilometres now, but we’re building up to 50 kilometres next week,” she said.
The club has a bye this weekend but returns to Ararat on August 19 for the Trounson Family Handicap over a tough eight kilometre course. Fun runners are welcome.