A bitter wind swept across the Ruataniwha Plains on Saturday and made life very uncomfortable for the brave souls battling the open spaces of the Laurence Cup course on the Marine Parade walkway. Holy hell...............was it cold!!! There were more than a few runners who ventured off from the start wearing more the usual attire.
Chris Marshall made the most of the handicap given to him to pick up the Laurence Cup honours on the day with a tidy 42 min 28 sec effort for the 10km. With a 3 min 20 sec gap to make up, Ron Middleton tried his absolute best to bridge the divide but came up 45 sec short on the day. Ron was more than happy though to drop under the 40 min barrier though with a 39 min 53 sec effort good reward for what has been an excellent season for the Mountain Man. Karl Iaveta had to dig deep to hold off David Kay to take 3rd over the line.
Gina Finlayson was just as dominant in the Womens race for the Angus Trophy. Making good use of the handicap she had over the chasing pack, Gina never looked like being headed and was 44 sec clear of Annie Creagh at the finish who had worn down Jenny Pearson over the last 500m. Holly Manning used the target on Roisin Pearson's back to haul herself through for the fastest time of 20 min 28 sec for the 5km. Roisin was next quickest on 20 min 46 sec with Shannon Geary making it a trifecta for W19's with a 22 min 03 sec effort.
Ben Harrison easily accounted for Jason Pearson to take the Margaret Evans Shield for the M19 while Anne Rinck will have the Gavin McGregor Trophy on the shelf at home for the W16 when she held off a fast finishing Sophie Hogan. The Brian Smith Cup for the M16/B14 was a bit more willing with Fraser Pearson having his best run of the year to hold off the rapidly closing Connor Pearson by 24 sec. Connor again ran strongly to record a smart 19 min 11 sec for the 5km with Dylan Barron next quickest on 20 min 04 sec (after a late start).
The U12 had a new trophy to race for with the Bassick Family having some silverware on the line. With the bulk of the field finishing within 1 ½ minutes of each other it was a battle for survival that saw Ella Hogan hold on for the win by 11 sec from Ben Stephenson who in turn had managed to nudge ahead of Xanthe Day over the last 100m. Oliver Marshall was impressive with a 7 min 17 sec time for the 2km with Sam Gilbert next best in 8 min 04 sec.
In the Cubs Sophie Annand and Noah Green fought an epic battle with the former just edging the latter by 1 sec with Grace Hogan close up in 3rd.