AFTER five days of rain and cloudy skies the sun shone through last Saturday afternoon for the opening run of Nowra Athletics Club’s cross country season.
The well needed rain had made the Willandra course at West Cambewarra damp and slippery but in better condition than many expected.
There was anticipation and new season chatter among the faithful and first-timers as around 150 lined up for the various distances on this iconic property, the headquarters of the Nowra Athletics Club.
As is customary the first race was the shorter distances of one and two kilometres, with around 50 mostly younger folk scuttling off from the starter’s command.
Times will be on the Nowra Athletics Club website, but as is customary, the first few runs are all from go with no handicapping.
The three kilometres saw young Jesse Buckham in good early season form to cross the line in second place.
There was a new wooden bridge in place to see the runners across the creek this year.
The eight kilometre long course went off at the same time with many of these runners so familiar with the lap they could do it with their eyes closed.
Newer member Leith Babian pushed through in the second lap to greet the judge in first place with his usual satisfied grin.
Not far behind was young gun Harry McGill and distance runner extraodinaire Damian Smith.
The season proper really begins next Saturday, April 5 with the first round again at Willandra.
Registration and administration begins at 1.30pm and running starts at 2.30pm with the one and two kilometres.
The canteen is open every Saturday at Willandra with hot and cold drinks and afternoon tea available.
Already schools are running cross country events at Willandra and the first state event is scheduled the next week so the season ramps up quickly.
The club advises members to get to the course early to settle registration and warm up.
The club tracksuit top is available to order for $35.
Uniform officer Deb Clark will be on hand most weeks to assist.
The presentation for the 2013 winter cross country season and the summer track and field season just completed will be on May 3.
The club asks members to consider standing for the committee.
Many hands make light work.
Talk to our current officials about it.
New runners are always welcome and indeed the club was pleased to see a dozen or so last week, so come, bring the family and see why so may others have been enjoying running on the courses of Willandra for over 50 years.
Check the web site www.nowraathletics.org.au