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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Bob Freeland turns back the clock and wins 10k

Bob Freeland turns back the clock and wins 10k

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Bob Freeland ran for many years on the VAL circuit in middle distance events. He is one of three brothers who were involved in the sport; Max was a very good VAL runner, including wins at Stawell, while Russell was a long time administrator with the SAAL through the 80's and 90's.

Fit Freeland defies ladies

Stawell Times
12 Aug, 2011

STAWELL - Veteran campaigner Bob Freeland broke an unprecedented run of four consecutive wins by female runners when he scored a plucky win in the David O Jones Mitre 10 Handicap at Stawell last Saturday.

Despite clutching at a suspicious hamstring in the first kilometre of the eight kilometre Stawell Amateur Athletic Club event, Freeland overcame his injury concerns to make amends for his last gasp defeat at Haven Hall a week before.

On the flat and fast cross country course that skirts the Bungally Creek at Haven, Meg Parnaby had staved off a spirited finish by Freeland to score by a mere 0.01 seconds to follow in the footsteps of Rhonda Clark, Selina Heard-Price and Susie Ellis who had inflicted a month-long drought on the males.

On hillier terrain in the Ironbarks Forest, Freeland, who has revised his training regimen to shed up to five kilograms in recent weeks, ground out the kilometres with typical resolution to set up too big a break on the chasers.

Col Barnett stormed through the field to record best time of 31.09 minutes, but on adjusted handicaps was 29 seconds in arrears of the winner, with Gaynor Radovic first of the females to finish a further 19 seconds behind.

In his determination to win the battle of the bulge this season, Freeland has taken up swimming at Stawell's North Park Leisure Centre.

"I swim up to 40 laps of the pool, which helps keen the body supple and even just walking in the pool seems to help with the usual aches and pains," he said.

"I still train at the Big Hill (Stawell) and do an LSD run (long, slow, discipline) for 90 minutes each week and you have to do these things to keep yourself competitive."

Like Rhonda Clark a fortnight before, Freeland used Keith Lofthouse as his "bunny", keeping that struggling runner in his sights all the way to help propel him to a win.

Twelve-year-old Raine Mackley ran a sparkling 18.15 minutes over four kilometres to make a one-act affair of the junior division of the race.

The slightly-built Mackley, who trains at Pomonal's Mount Cassel, has a promising future but hasn't set himself any lofty goals so far.

"I like running with the athletics club and I like to support fun runs for kids with cancer," he said.

The club returns to the Ironbarks tomorrow for the five kilometre S and K Watson Handicap.

New runners are invited to join in and should meet at the North Park clubrooms at 1.30pm.

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