Turners Beach athlete Troy Reader has come from nowhere to win the Professional Cross Country Club of Tasmania’s MA & LJ Bates Plumbing 10km Handicap at Stowport on Sunday.
In his ninth season with the club, the highly regarded backmarker puts in great efforts each week and is currently marathon training.
Reader’s last win was a 7km race at Heybridge – coincidentally also sponsored by Bates Plumbing.
Not even making it into the first ten last week Reader was not expecting a win on Sunday but found himself among the leaders at the base of the climb to the finish line.
Hobart’s Darren Brown was sensational, working his way through the majority of the field while Penguin’s Judy Ray was also very impressive as fastest female runner of the day finishing fourth.
To race observers McMahon appeared spent as he stalled to run with the frontmarkers midway through the race after making great ground in the early stages only to be able to produce a purple patch on the final hill to chase Reader and Brown home for third place.
McMahon’s tactics appear sound as he has now registered five podium finishes in his last five starts – three runners-up and two thirds.
In blustery conditions over 80 runners assembled to listen to the starter’s instructions before setting out on an undulating rural circuit that boasts a steep finish which proves a difficult hurdle for many to climb.
A familiar course for many members, the Stowport circuit is now completed in a reverse direction bringing a new challenge to many and living up to its reputation as a difficult layout, the course mostly favoured the backies and form middle markers as the majority of the top ten came from those ranks.
Jason Fehlberg continues to improve in 2015 breaking through the four minute kilometre barrier on this difficult course while Paul Birch and Tobin Mason also had great runs.
Louise Morse hit the lead when she passed Sulphur Creek’s John Purton with about two and a half kilometres to race while Dale Lancaster also ran well, at one time reaching third.
Olivia Davies was strong throughout with a good personal time and Bryan Tuit registered one of his best performances this year as he edges closer to the first ten from his backmark.
Thomas Murton collected fastest time honours, just ahead of Brown and Tuit.