In maiden win

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min­utes,” he de­clared, a tall or­der con­sid­er­ing the world record of 2.11.96 was set by Kenyan Noah Ngeny in 1999.

“Oth­er­wise I’m happy to run as fast as I can over any dis­tance I can, as long as it’s long dis­tance,” he said.

In a sub-ju­nior one-kilo­me­tre event, Jerome Baker held off strong chal­lenges from sis­ters Olivia and Chloe.

On Sat­ur­day, run­ners gather at 9.30am at the North Park clu­b­rooms be­fore the five-kilo­me­tre Stephen Baird Hand­i­cap.

Loft­house in luck

Wiry veteran Keith Loft­house trav­elled to Rhym­ney on Sun­day fully ex­pect­ing to run a re­spectable third in the Reynolds Fam­ily Hand­i­cap be­hind pre-race favourites Emma Mc­cready and her dad Ian.

But luck be­came for­tune for Loft­house in the Stawell and Ararat Cross Coun­try Club race when nei­ther Mc­cready pre­sented for the race, hand­ing Loft­house an un­ex­pected win over near­est chasers Chris Bar­wick and Peter Gib­son.

“I was pretty cer­tain Emma would be there be­cause she won the Reynolds last year, with Rachel sec­ond, and it’s al­ways a thrill to win a race in con­sec­u­tive years,” Lof­house said.

For the first time in his 69 years, Loft­house had trained or raced for seven days straight in prepa­ra­tion for Rhym­ney.

The club has a Mother’s Day bye this Sun­day, but trav­els to Stawell on Sat­ur­day, May 19 to join Stawell Ama­teur Ath­letic Club for an eight-kilo­me­tre Lind­say Kent Me­mo­rial Hand­i­cap.

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