Ararat Mitre 10 2011


Steve “Squeak” Baird missed by 0.006 seconds on winning a bronze in the 4 x 100 metres relay at the World Masters Athletics in Sacramento, USA – and had cause to lament a missed opportunity. “I didn’t get much of a chance to train when I was there and I reckon that counted against me in the end.” In La Vegas, where the temperature soared to 43C, Steve did not train for four days as there were no facilities available. He wasn’t too concerned because he thought there might be opportunities in Sacramento, but again – no track, no training – and Squeak had to resort to a few sprints in the hotel car park! He ran second in his 100 and 200 metres qualifiers but did not make the semis.


Motivated by her dad’s unofficial debut with the club, Tayla Notting resurrected a frustrating season to break through for a tenacious win in the Ararat Mitre 10 Handicap.

Running on invitation and threading his way through the field like a seasoned veteran, Craig Notting gave his talented sixteen-year-old a goal to chase on the challenging rises of Dunneworthy Common, and for Tayla it was enough to turn disappointment into dividend.

In her ten previous starts this season, Tayla’s form read 3,3,5,5,6,5,8,4,2,5 and it seems she was lacking only an element of inspiration to propel her to a win against the classiest opposition of the year. The line-up included five fit and determined teenagers who had won races earlier in the season – Ruby Klemm, Ashley Jeans, Corey Heard, Nathan Makovec and club speedsters Ashley Cowen and twenty-one-year-old Simon Gallagher.


Daughter Tayla and Dad Craig Notting fight out the finish

After a ding-dong battle with the club’s most consistent runner, Peter Gibson, father and daughter greeted the timekeepers almost in unison, with Gibbo, just 20 seconds in arrears, yet to put a win on the board – but recording his eleventh top five finish of 2011.

“Dad’s been threatening to have a run with the club for a few weeks now and he finally made it,” a breathless Tayla said. “It was a help to have him there because I just had to catch him, and I also had Peter to thank as he kept urging me on whenever I looked like slackening off.”

Dad v Daughter (cont):

Tayla, who plays up to three games of netball the day before race day and as a result is often hampered by fatigue and soreness, trains “a few nights a week” on a dirt road around Lake Bolac and works hard on the local school oval.

“When I’m training for the state (cross country) titles, we’re made to pull a tyre chained to your waist around the oval and it’s hard work, but it’s supposed to help your speed and stamina,” she said, looking somewhat sceptical.


2002 S Baird

2004 G Saunders

2005 G Saunders

2006 J Trounson

2007 R Colley

2008 B Fiscalini

2009 B Fiscalini

2010 P Gibson

NEXT WEEK’S RACE: Just three races left this season. The next is the Australia Post 5km at McDonald Park. A reminder that the season finale, the 5km President’s Race, has been moved forward to Sunday, September 4 (Father’s Day) to accommodate the AEGIS Grampians Springtime Classic (15km, Moyston-Ararat) on September 11.


Thanks to the generosity of the Stawell Gold Mines, the SACCC and the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club received a $1500 grant last month for the purchase of a potentially life-saving defibrillator. SACCC Secretary Keith Lofthouse was given a demonstration of the Cardiac Solutions defib at the Gold Mine and was impressed by the ease of its operation, but learned that the Victorian Cross Country League (Melbourne) was set to purchase a Philips model at around half the cost. However, it now seems that the Philips unit is not available for shipment to Australia. We will now pursue the Cardiac Solutions solution!

Picture above: Courtesy of Stawell News Times

Keith gratefully accepts a cheque from Troy Cole (General Manager, Stawell Gold Mines).