Concongella Vineyard

NEXT WEEK’S RACE: We’re off to Garry Rice’s picturesque Concongella Vineyard on the Navarre Road just outside of Stawell for the 6.5km Handicap. Garry won’t say “no” to the sale of some good (cheap!) wine. Recent winners include Ashley Cowen (2011), Sven O’Flynn (10), Chris Barwick (09), Bree Fiscalini (08), Sven O’Flynn (07).


See map below for location

Ryan Family 5k


 If it was possible to build a running track around the Equator, Jack Trounson has chalked up enough Ks to have circled the globe twice by now – and then run from Brisbane to Perth with a few hundred kilometres for sightseeing left over.

A lifetime of running; a regimen involving 80,796 kilometres of training and 3976 kms of racing culminated in him winning the 5km Geoff Ryan Family Handicap last Sunday – his 27th win at his 555th start for our club.

He’d won the race before, in 2003, but it happened so long ago that he’d simply forgotten that it was not one of the few on the SACCC calendar that he hasn’t won

The 63-year-old Jack argues the point, but if he has slowed down over the years the rate of decline is almost imperceptible: 21.50 minutes was his winning time on Sunday and nine years before he had clocked a comparable 20.25.

With all that experience in those leathery legs, he shouldn’t be surprised that he was able to put an imposing field to the sword. But the laconic Jack said the course was “flat and fast” and that was the only reason he won.

His margin over the mercurial Sven O’Flynn was a healthy 11 seconds, but it could have been greater if Sven had another of his “off” days which are always more frequent than his “on.”

If Jack is the epitome of professionalism in running, Sven is the oddity.

Stung by a playful jibe before the race that “daylight saving ended too early for you to get home by dark,” the enigmatic Irishman turned on a “Steven Bradbury” and seriously threatened to cause an upset at odds of about 100-1.

Only the week before, Sven, who chased a vodka hangover with a breakfast of bacon and eggs, staggered a sick and sorry 5km at Rhymney Reef and clocked a tortoise-like 36.48. On Sunday he was a mind-bending 14 minutes faster!

The bottom line is that the dilettante S.O’F, who keeps no records, enjoys his running every bit as much as the diligent Jack, whose archive is meticulous.

They are like heads and tails – except that there are three sides to this coin.

The third belongs to Ashley Cowen. Ash, who played footy with the Swifts less than 24 hours before, rocketed over course in 16.47, eclipsing the record he set in 2010 by 11 seconds!


If you intend to run this race, 11am, Sunday May 20, and need transport, Keith is definitely going and has room for three. There will be, no doubt, other cars making the trip, so ask around. Those of us close to winning a club race should seriously consider a start as a $100 prize has been set aside for our members alone. Everyone, of course is in the running for the $1000 available to the overall winner, and there is a sash for the first country runner to finish. Entry fee is $10.



A few of the 2011 books are still available if you missed a great night. New members are welcome to apply. See Keith.


NEXT WEEK’S RACE: We’re off to Garry Rice’s picturesque Concongella Vineyard on the Navarre Road just outside of Stawell for the 6.5km Handicap. Garry won’t say “no” to the sale of some good (cheap!) wine. Recent winners include Ashley Cowen (2011), Sven O’Flynn (10), Chris Barwick (09), Bree Fiscalini (08), Sven O’Flynn (07).

Rhymney Reef 2012



Stawell teenager Nicholas Pridan thought that veteran club runner Keith Lofthouse was doing him a favour when he helped the youngster prepare for a solo marathon, running the Western Highway between Ararat and Stawell in blistering summer heat just six weeks ago.

But Keith acknowledged his protégés “priceless” assistance when he broke through for his first win with the club since July 2010 in the five kilometre Rhymney Reef Handicap.

“Nic came on the scene at exactly the right time for me,” Keith said, after finishing off the Greg Paterson sponsored race with a downhill sprint that put 36 seconds of daylight between himself and runner-up Neil Wilde.

“I had a disastrous 2011 though illness and injury which cost me about six weeks training and 300 kilometres on the road.

“I trained all through summer to make up for lost time, but when Nic came along I was stale and not enjoying my work.”

“Training him helped train me over a variety of courses, speeds and distances – and that he was able to raise over $3000 for Project: Water all by himself was just inspirational. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in many a pre-season.”

Nevertheless, the win at Rhymney caught the 63-year-old, in his 50th start with the club, completely by surprise.

“I didn’t set out to win, but I was fitter than I have been for two years and being the first race of the season I guess others weren’t quite as fit.

“Mind you, the last time I won a season opener was with the Victorian Cross Country League in Melbourne in 2003 and I haven’t won another race there since, so I hope that’s not an omen!”

The handicap race was a triumph for the veterans with the first four to finish – Lofthouse, Wilde, Peter Gibson and Jack Trounson notching up 1326 club runs between them!

“I’ve only contributed 50 of those,” Keith explained, “but I’ve had 180 runs with the Melbourne club, so I’ve done my bit in the big smoke.”

Seventeen-year-old Ash “the Dash” Cowen, who recorded fastest times over all distances other than 10 kilometres in the club’s 2011 season, again set a sparkling pace upfront and was too slick for a slimmed-down Jack Kelly to be first home in 18.39 minutes.



IN recognition of Nic Pridan’s marathon effort, the club presented him with a Certificate of Achievement at the L. W. Kent Memorial Fun Run on April 8.

The certificate entitles him to five years free membership and registration with the SACCC.

It was the first time in the club’s 44 year history that such an award had been made but President Neil Wilde said that his committee had no qualms about creating a precedent.

“It’s not every day that someone like Nicholas comes along and commits himself so wholeheartedly to a cause, and then runs 42 kilometres on a stinking hot day with a smile on his face,” Neil said.

“We as a running club recognise not only the physical sacrifice, but Nic’s sheer determination in raising as much money as he could for a charity that brings fresh drinking water to those deprived of it.”

Nicholas, 18, was speechless with surprise after receiving the award but later thanked the club for its support.

“I had no idea this was coming and was just overwhelmed to be greeted so warmly by such a big crowd at the fun run,” he said.