The annual Nowra Athletics 1km handicap race was held at Nowra Show on Saturday, February 9. There was a hot field of competitors once again this year with young and old competing against each other for the coveted sash.
Fifteen runners were led away by young Josie Sproule with Mali Mustapic setting off shortly after, on 15 seconds. Veteran runner Andrew Havadjia; always keen to run at the Nowra Show, was next to start on 40 seconds.
Lachlan Rabey was as keen as mustard to run and he fired off from the line on 1.05 minutes. Sprinter Emerson Brian started on 1.24 minutes, eager to prove that he could actually sprint for 2 laps. Lily Sproule, Oliver Baxter and Alisha Mustapic were not far behind. Harrison Baxter and Cameron Baxter were next to go.
The youngsters were then followed by the more experienced Scott Johnson. Lucas Johnson started quickly after dad Scott on 2.19 minutes whilst long distance runner Scott Martin set off on 2.30 minutes. Hot favourite Ethan Hadvadjia who has been demonstrating top form recently was next to start while the backmarker was late entry Brooklyn Henry on 3.10 minutes.
Emerson Brian looked as cool as a cucumber throughout the race and maintained a steady pace. The Baxter boys, as usual, gave it their all, showing trademark determination and commitment. Backmarkers Scott, Ethan and Brooklyn pushed hard to make up ground.
Andrew Havadjia proved that consistency is the key to racing, and just like the tortoise and the hare, his steadiness almost got him the win. Almost, but not quite. Emerson Brian utilised his speed to take victory in front of Andrew. Third was Oliver Baxter who came through the front field from 1.40 handicap. Lachlan Rabey, with his wonderful enthusiasm took fourth and Alisha Mustapic was fifth followed by a wall of runners as the rest of the field crossed the finish line.
Congratulations Emerson for taking the win and congratulations to all the competitors for running and putting on a good show for the ring-side crowd!