Bar­nett runs best on some rest

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport -

Col Bar­nett, one of the Stawell Am­a­teur Ath­letic Club’s most dec­o­rated run­ners, recorded one of the most sat­is­fy­ing wins of his long ca­reer in a 10-kilo­me­tre Run for Ray at Stawell.

“I’m the best I’ve been for five years. I’m run­ning a minute quicker than last year and I’m en­joy­ing my run­ning,” he said.

Bar­nett, 54, has started in ev­ery race on the club’s 2017 cal­en­dar, some­thing he has not been able to achieve for years due to a suc­ces­sion of nig­gling in­juries that have brought pre­ma­ture ends to his sea­sons.

“They key has been not to train as hard as I have in the past,” he said.

“I was down to just 20 kilo­me­tres a week and hav­ing plenty of rest. I’ve built that up to 30, only be­cause I’m race fit and run­ning with more con­fi­dence.”

He did have a stroke of for­tune at the week­end when Vicki Tyler and Sharon How­den, the pre-race favourites who trav­elled with him down from Hor­sham, were ac­ci­den­tally waved off course and ran a kilo­me­tre fur­ther than re­quired.

Even ev­er­green run­ner-up, 75-yearold Gary Saun­ders, came un­stuck when he failed to see or­ange mark­ers and also strayed ‘out of bounds’.

Bar­nett’s 20-sec­ond win­ning mar­gin might have flat­tered him but no one be­grudges the fastest run­ners a win be­cause un­der hand­i­cap con­di­tions they have to give ev­ery­one else a start.

The race is in mem­ory of Ray Scott, a past pres­i­dent of the club, who died trag­i­cally while on a train­ing run in the Iron­barks in 2010.

“I’ve al­ways en­joyed this race. It’s one of my favourites on the course that Ray liked to train on,” Bar­nett said.

Im­prov­ing young­ster Miles Mem­brey en­joyed a muddy jaunt in a sub-ju­nior race to de­feat Olivia Hunter and Kayla Mem­brey in a one-kilo­me­tre dash.

The se­niors face an en­durance chal­lenge in the Stawell Iron­barks this Satur­day in the 16-kilo­me­tre Stephen Baird Hand­i­cap on a spectacular fig­ure-eight course. Fun run­ners are wel­come.

Cross coun­try

Peren­nial achiever Jack Troun­son runs with metal screws in both an­kles, the legacy of an ac­ci­dent not re­lated to run­ning. But he has never rested long enough to go rusty.

The vet­eran of a record 631 runs with Stawell and Ararat Cross Coun­try Club, Troun­son reached an­other mile­stone when post­ing his 13th win in his 40th year with the club in the 6.5-kilo­me­tre Watkins Fam­ily Hand­i­cap at War­rak on Sun­day.

It’s a de­mand­ing slog, with steep climbs, daunt­ing down­hills and a tricky trek across a slop­ing paddock that tests the stur­di­est an­kles.

But few 69-year-olds are tougher than Troun­son who, in rel­a­tive terms, has twice cir­cled the globe in a life­time of 90,000 train­ing kilo­me­tres and over 4000 rac­ing.

On a re­cent hol­i­day to Her­vey Bay, Troun­son de­fied heat and hu­mid­ity with hour long runs on most days and on an ear­lier ad­ven­ture in May, on the fringe of Aus­tralia’s Simp­son Desert, recorded hot­house runs at Lake Eyre and Dal­housie Springs.

“The al­ter­na­tive to run­ning an hour a day is stop­ping,” he said, “and I can’t do that.”

So, no won­der he was too tough in the Watkins, al­ways in com­mand and pow­er­ing to a 0.33-minute win over two of the club’s elite, Peter Gib­son – his usual train­ing part­ner – and Si­mon Gal­lagher.

Troun­son had won this race be­fore back in 2006, not of course when the race was a ‘flat as a tack’ run from the War­rak ham­let, but now when its idio­syn­cra­sies tests the met­tle of the weak, and the will­ing.

The club has a bye this week­end be­fore the King of the Hill, a chal­leng­ing three-kilo­me­tre climb to the top of Ararat’s for­bid­ding One Tree Hill on Septem­ber 10. Fun run­ners are in­vited to try.

Col Bar­nett

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