Topic: Stuck in Stawell & Ararat

Hi Guys, to faces young and old, and for those who remember me, I'd like to have made it down to Melbourne this week for what was my favourite race, the George Perdon - especially when we all went giddy doing four (or was it five?) laps of Princes Park. But I remain President of the Amateur Club in Stawell and while I am resting from Secretary duties with the Ararat Club, I still do a weekly newsletter and I am committed. I also have a dog, Brooke, who is 17, a whippet who is hanging on for dear life, but needs to be fed by hand and cared for, like an invalid grandmother. Last Sunday I raced at Warrak, a pretty little place not far from Ararat on a sheep farmer's property. The occasion marked the diamond wedding anniversary of race sponsors Leo and Doreen Watkins, and a trademark of the race is galloping across a steeply sloping paddock in which runners are unbalanced for all of 500 metres. This time something new. I had to stop and rescue a sheep that had fled in panic and got tangled in barbed wire. Such things happen when cross country running in the country. A reminder holidaying runners that there is always a race in Ararat or Stawell, April to September, if you need a fix when visiting. This Sunday the Ararat Club climbs the notorious One Tree Hill for a race we call King of the Hill. It's bitumen for 3km, but the hill climb features 11 twists and turn as it rises.I hate the race. The only race I've ever actually hated, but we seem stuck with it for those who like the challenge. By the way Brian, the cheque is in the mail. Seriously. I hope to pick out a race or two in 2017 before heading OS in September - my first holiday in 14 years. I don't expect that Brooke will last that long, unfortunately. It would be cruel to put her through another long, hot summer. I'll miss her. Best wishes to all, Keith Lofthouse.