SAAC Race Recap: Hunter Gardens & Landscaping

The SAAC 2016 cross country season officially kicked up last weekend (2nd April).

We were in Melbourne, visiting family (and of course visiting Wyndham Vale Parkrun), so we were unable to attend the opening race.

This week however we got to participate in the inaugural Hunter Gardens & Landscaping 5km Handicap.

Located just outside of Stawell, this run was a mix bag, of sealed & unsealed roads and dirt track.

The sun was shinning and it was a lot warmer than I expected.  I should have worn shorts, next time. At least I decided to wear a singlet.

The kids (sub juniors) ran first, doing a 2 lap course, to make up a 1km distance.

SAAC Hunter - MilesI ran along with Miles.

  1. As a warm up, but
  2. To keep an eye on him, in case he needed his puffer.

Miles ran quite well, better than I thought.  Yes he walked a bit, but he is definitely getting better at running.

One thing is for certain, his ‘running’ top wont fit him for much longer.  He told me off when I gave him another top to wear.  He was adamant that he had to wear this one.

SAAC Hunter - KaylaKayla on the other hand, ran extremely well.

What do you expect when just two weeks prior she pumped out a 3km run at the Stawell Easter Fun Run, in a cracking time of 17:53.

Once all the kids had finished it was time for the grown ups to run our distance.

My handicap time was 9:00 minutes, and with only 2 people behind me I would have only 5km to catch up to all other other runners.

It’s nice to run on a course I haven’t done before. Most SAAC races are out in the Ironbarks, and well I know those tracks like the back of my hand.

This track did have one long hill.  Now I don’t mind hills, but I this one never seemed to end, going for 1.5km.  While not steep (only a 23m elevation gain), my legs were starting to tire by the top.

The other thing I had to deal with on the long hill was the corrugated road.

Corrugation on dirt roads is a common occurrence in Australia, but they are challenging to run on. So there is always a bit of weaving from one side to the other to find the flattest part to run on.

With 1km left to go, I could see the front runners ahead of me.  I knew I wouldn’t get them, well not at this distance, but at least I knew who I still had in front of me.

Justine claimed 1st place in a race time of

Jess crossed the line in 2nd place with a race time of

While not my fasted run, I came in 3rd place with a race time of

saac-hunter-2016


Next week brings us the 6.5km Advance Bricks & Pavers Handicap.