Jenkins wins again, against the odds
Grey-bearded veteran Terry Jenkins, 69, who broke a 16-year drought by winning a Stawell Amateur Athletic Club race on June 3, received a time penalty but still beat the handicapper by scoring back-toback wins in Horsham.
In the five-kilometre race earlier this month, Jenkins gave training mate Stephen Baird, 4.30 minutes start, and his winning margin was 0.37 seconds.
In the 6.5-kilometre handicap on Saturday, Jenkins had to concede 5.50 minutes to the front-running Baird. But he gradually reeled in the tiring leader within sight of the finish and drew clear to score by a safe margin of nine seconds. Jess Cass led the women into third place.
“I really didn’t have enough kilometres in my legs in that first win and I only did about 25 kilometres on the training track. But I’ve since built up to 47 a week. I’m just old enough to realise that you don’t get anywhere without hard work,” Jenkins said. “The flat course really suited me, but I only really gave myself a chance in the last 200 metres.”
The club returns to Stawell on Sunday in an eight-kilometre Lindsay Kent Memorial from the aerodrome car park off Pipetrack Road.
In sub-juniors, Jordan Nitschke celebrated with a gutsy win over Chloe Hunter and Kayla Membrey.
Simon swoops on Lofthouse
Wrong-way runner Keith Lofthouse has only himself to blame for failing to turn the tables on spring-heeled Simon Gallagher who scored back-to-back wins in an eight-kilometre Fenn Family Handicap in Ararat.
Almost a minute behind Gallagher when second at the Concongella Vineyard the week before, Lofthouse was favourite to win the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club race due to the two-minute time penalty imposed on his club-mate.
But Lofthouse made a critical error seconds after the start when he turned right instead of left.
His race could have ended there but for Charlie Jones behind him calling him back on course.
“I simply got confused by the pre-race instructions, not for the first time and probably not the last,” Lofthouse said.
With 250 metres to run, Lofthouse risked a look over his shoulder and spotted Gallagher swooping about 30 metres behind.
“I thought I had him, but he was on my back in a flash. Trying to stave off Simon when he has the smell of victory is like trying to keep on a hairpiece in a hurricane. He’s just too swift.”
Gallagher won by a stride with Ian McCready finishing third and a further 0.41 seconds behind.
The hilly course in Mcdonald Park is always tough going, but this time runners had to cope with choking swarms of midges.
RUNNING CHALLENGE: growing form. Terry Jenkins shows off his