Queens Birthday Road Races
5 June 2017
Well wasn’t that fun?? It was a beautiful morning for running with a good turnout. Numbers were healthy, even allowing for the absence of the Secondary School runners saving themselves for the East Coast Champs. Before commenting on the races, a big thank you goes out to Wayne Smith and the large team of officials, marshals and results crew that made the event possible. Without those helpers, the event would not happen.
The first event away was an 8-strong Cubs field with little Millie Lyford as always setting the tempo up front. Blake Richardson is getting the hang of this tactic and pressured Millie all the way back from the turnaround but she held on to win by 3 sec in a time of 4 min 23 sec for the 1km.
The U12 field was impressive with 27 starters facing the handicap start. By the time Oliver Berry started he had a 3 min 45 sec handicap to make up on the frontrunner from go. The final result was a great example of excellent handicapping with the first 18 finishing within 47 sec of each other. Rory Smith could not hold off the fast finish of Hastings’ Brody Boerboom who recorded 7 min 56 sec for the 2km. Rory did hold 2nd from Camden Russell though – another Hastings runner. Caitlin O’Shea was first of the girls back in 9th place to be just ahead of fastest of the ladies in Grace Hogan who ran a tidy 8 min 53 sec. Oliver was quickest of the boys in 7 min 49 sec to be 8th on handicap and only 18 sec from the winner. Caitlin did very well to hang on given she had started off 30 sec and for a long time had the whole field chasing her down.
The 27-strong long course field headed off next. Setting off on go was Tania Gardner from Gisborne Harriers – and that was the last anybody saw of her as she ran 5 min quicker than estimated. She eventually arrived back 2 min 20 sec ahead of Tracey Chatterton, who had run out of her skin but was never going to catch Tania. 17 seconds later and the first of the blokes arrived with Jason Petuha looking very strong (he was certainly that when he went past me – but then again so was everybody else that went past me, which was close to the entire field!!!). Erwin Blokker looked at home on the tarmac to hold off the fast finishing Damien Christofis for 2nd & 3rd for the men. Damien was determined to keep Lucas Duross behind him, which he managed comfortably – nothing like running scared!! Lucas burned over the 9km in 30 min 13 sec to be quickest of the blokes while Kate O’Malley looks in good form being nippiest lady with a 39 min 05 sec.
Last to go were the 29 runners spread throughout the various grades of the short course. Being an open event its’ always hard to factor in visitors’ times, which in this case saw a Croatian visitor Biljana Custic Sobocanec take line honours in the MW/SW grade. Another visitor Aleesha Heywood was second with Kim Creagh 21 seconds back in 3rd. Laura Nagel used the race no doubt as a build up to bigger things with an explosive 15 min 27 sec gallop over the 4.5km that ranks probably amongst the top 3 quickest traverses of the course. Talking of rapid, Mitchell Snell warmed up for upcoming commitments with an eye-watering 15 min 21 sec in the B16/14 event. The visitors actually took out this grade with Hastings duo James Dillion and Rory McKay being well clear of Harry Redman. Sophie Bassick had one of her best runs in ages to ease to a win in G16/14 with Libby & Kate Stewart back in 2nd & 3rd. Alan Dibley turned back the years to head home to Men completed the short course. Looking down the results it was good to see Emily Dunn and Sophie Hogan putting in some honest shifts while Stella Marshall’s 22 min 29 sec looks promising.