Chris Barwick and Ian McCready battled it out last Sunday in the 6.5 kilometre Rhymney Reef Handicap. Picture: CONTRIBUTED LIKE a battle-weary footballer who benefits from a reduced training agenda,Chris Barwick ran on fresh legs last Sunday to score back-to-back wins in the 6.5 kilometre Rhymney Reef Handicap.
The modest veteran, who runs for the love of participation more than the thrill of winning, typically thanked a club mate for the impetus to break through for his first win since the Stawell and Ararat Cross Country Club’s corresponding race last year.
“I’d have rather someone else won it to be honest, because this has taken me by surprise and I can only put it down to Ian McCready dragging me along and making me work really hard,” 58-year-old Barwick said.
McCready, a fierce competitor who always finishes his races off with a rush of adrenalin, stuck close to Barwick for most of the hilly assignment before edging away in the last 500 metres of strength-sapping incline.
On handicap, McCready – a recent winner himself – could only manage fifth but it was Barwick who saved the handicapper from embarrassment by denying last start winner Simon Gallagher a rare double.
Barwick’s margin over the long-legged Gallagher was a mere 0.09 seconds with Jack Trounson, inhis 617thstart, recording his fourth podium finish in succession.
Reigning club champion Paul Fenn clocked fastest time of 26.30 minutes.
The winner, always reluctant to speak of his achievements, runs because he enjoys it.
“You have to get your body and your brain psyched up for it,” Barwick said.
“I haven’t been able to train as much lately but it doesn’t seem to have hurt me. There’s clearly a balance between training too much and too little.”
The club returns to “home ground” this Sunday for the eight kilometre Simon and Tiffany Gallagher Handicap. Startingfrom “The Pits” carpark at 9.45am, itoffers free entry for fun runners.
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