Pet pig plays its part in cross country success
Veteran runner Julie Hertz credited the antics of ‘Bonny the pet calf’ for the first of her two wins with Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club in 2017.
But, in Bonny’s place, ‘Willywoo the pet pig’ has trotted forth as the driving force behind her second win in 2019.
Busy managing the property, teaching part time, and performing duties as club secretary, Hertz has little time for training and depends on the pig affording her some level of fitness.
“He loves to chase me and have me chase him, and he manages to wear me out, probably because I’m not doing enough training,” she said.
Hertz’s surprising win in the five-kilometre Clem Hall Memorial race at Stawell, of course, wasn’t all down to the pig.
“Because I’m very often the first to start in a handicap race I usually spend a lot of time running by myself and it’s hard to get motivated sometimes,” she said.
“But today we had a mass start and I was able to keep Sue Blizzard and Shev Healy in my sights. It really helps when you have someone to chase.”
Hertz ran steadily and after handicaps were applied the winner emerged with a 27-second advantage over Healy, who has one last chance to win in the season finale – the five-kilometre President’s Handicap at Dunneworthy Common in Ararat on Sunday.
Artz learns running art
Kiri Artz discovered her niche in competitive sport when she turned to running and broke through for her maiden win, a three-kilometre Chris Blake Handicap at Stawell. Her timely win came in the final race of the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club season on the North Park Athletic Track.
She was drawn into an early speed battle with faster runners but the youngster persevered and, with the handicaps working in her favour, held on grimly to defeat the nearest chasers, Rebecca Hurley and Naomi Hunter.
In a one-kilometre sub-junior dash, Nash Santuccione was the day’s second rookie to win for the first time.