Lofthouse returns to top of competition

by admin on August 20th, 2019

filed under 南京夜网

DETERMINED: Keith Lofthouse showed his iron grit at the weekend in the Peter Gibson Handicap event. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
Nanjing Night Net

VETERANKeith Lofthouse has returned to the top of theStawell and AraratCrossCountryClub following a win in theeight-kilometre Peter Gibson Handicap at Dunneworthy Common in Ararat.

He said he had givenserious thought to a premature end to his running season after a series of nine races with in which he could finish no better than ninth.

But in the lead up to the Peter Gibson Handicap he ran a close second during a 10-kilometre event, increasing his confidence heading into race in Ararat.

Lofthouse said he had been facing some issues during his previous races.

“I was in poor form and ordinary health,” he said.

“There were no signs of improvement and thought I might have been doing myself more harm than good.

“I really thought about pulling the plug.

“And then, unexpectedly, I ran a strong five-kilometre race with the Stawell Amateurs and it was like a light being switched on.

“I was unfit one day and fit the next and the turnaround has stunned me.”

Before his revivalhe would have been at Prince of Penzance odds to win but hissecond place in the 10-kilometre raceshot him into contention for the handicap.

Despite the improvement Lofthouse said he had still held some doubts about his chances.

“I still didn’t think I could win,” he said.

“The 10-kilometrerace was on a fast and flat course and I always race well there, but the Gibson race had a challenging hill and I thought that might find me out.”

He said his confidence was further shaken by another poor 10-kilometre race at Stawell just 24 hours before.

It was a resulthe just could not explain.

“It was a tough course and I struggled all the way,” he said.

“I wasn’t saving myself,I just couldn’t do any better.”

In the handicap he gave the much improved Shevahn Healy a 15-secondstart.

Lofthouse lost sight of her as they climbed the Cherry Tree Track.

He said he estimated her lead had extended to 45 seconds as they began the downhill trek.

“I caught her with two kilometres to go but to Shevvie’s credit she stuck like glue and I was surprised to see she was only seven seconds behind me at the finish,” he said.

Healy, has developed into an endurance specialist andclocked a personal best for the distance.

She ralliedto suppress a late charge from 2015 Gibson winner Jack Trounson, who was backafter a six-week spell interstate.

The next race is the Trounson Family sponsoredeight-kilometre run in the challenging Ararat Hills on Sunday.

Free entry is offered to fun runners.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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