Baker back to best in Run For Ray

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport -

Two ses­sions of acupunc­ture helped pro­pel Nathan Baker to a sur­prise win in the 10-kilo­me­tre Run For Ray Hand­i­cap at Stawell on Satur­day, his first ever in a race of that dis­tance.

A ded­i­cated trainer and com­peti­tor, Baker was crest­fallen when a ham­string strain forced him to rest and miss three races with Stawell Ama­teur Ath­letic Club.

“You lose a lot of fit­ness when you have to stop for five weeks,” he said.

“It’s harder to come back when the races get longer be­cause you need to work harder to get ready for those.”

Keen to do all that he could to ac­cel­er­ate the heal­ing, Baker visited an acupunc­tur­ist in Stawell and no­ticed im­me­di­ate im­prove­ment.

“The tight­ness in the ‘hammy’ started to free up after the first treat­ment, which was more than I ex­pected,” he said.

“I was able to run 10 kilo­me­tres to pre­pare for the race and that gave me some con­fi­dence.”

Reign­ing club cham­pion Colin Bar­nett, also re­cov­er­ing from in­jury, was first to fin­ish but Baker was right on his tail for all of the race and once hand­i­caps were ap­plied the mar­gin favoured Baker by just un­der a minute.

Vet­eran Terry Jenk­ins, the pre-race favourite and last year’s win­ner, was third.

The Run For Ray is held in mem­ory of Ray Scott, a for­mer club pres­i­dent who died trag­i­cally while train­ing alone in the Iron­barks For­est in 2010. The club re­turns to the Iron­barks on Satur­day for a 10-kilo­me­tre hand­i­cap.

Fun run­ners are in­vited to meet at the North Park clu­b­rooms from 9.30am.

San­dra shocks in AESC Cup

Three weeks after win­ning her first Stawell and Ararat Cross Coun­try Club race since 2016, San­dra Bar­wick recorded a shock win in the in­au­gu­ral AESC Cup at Stawell on Sun­day. In the richest race of the club sea­son, which of­fered $500 in prize money, Bar­wick was un­daunted by the cold, wet and muddy con­di­tions, and be­gan with a steely de­ter­mi­na­tion to do the very best she could.

“I saw Adrian van Raaphorst in front of me and I kept say­ing to my­self ‘I’m not go­ing to let him beat me!’”

For only the sec­ond time in their past eight meets, Bar­wick ran the bet­ter time.

When hand­i­caps were ap­plied, Bar­wick held a com­fort­able 38-sec­ond mar­gin over Peter Gib­son, with the ever-con­sis­tent Jack Troun­son pip­ping Ian Mc­cready for third.

The club trav­els to Moys­ton on Sun­day for the five-kilo­me­tre Wilde Fam­ily Hand­i­cap.

Fun run­ners are wel­come.

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