Steve Charles brought the curtain down on the 2014 Harrier season with a dominant performance in the Napier Harriers Road Champs. The blustery Westshore course was no barrier to Charles as he put the hammer down from the gun to quickly stretch out the rubber band on the chasing pack. James Bell along with Lucas Duross, Mark Speakman and Eric Phimister all tried to keep in touch with Charles early on but it was obvious to onlookers that he was in no mood to be accommodating. The gap between 1st & 2nd got wider as the laps rolled by until Charles eventually crossed the finishing line in 36 min 36 sec for the 10km. It was almost 4 minutes before Bell arrived in 2nd place with Speakman and Duross close behind.
The closest battle for the day was in the M16 where Connor Pearson, Dylan Barron and James Mikkleson again locked horns. Pearson was prepared to do the donkey work in to the wind and his aggressive tactics eventually paid dividends as he was able to hold off the persistent Barron by a mere second – the 19 min 10 sec effort for the 5km being admirable in the testing conditions.
The other notable result from the afternoon was the form of Laura Langley in the W19 grade. On the back of the National Road Champs and some testing legs in the Marton to Wanganui Relay in recent weeks it would have been understandable had Langley struggled to hold off the well performed Holly Manning and Roisin Pearson. Langley however had other plans and she took it to her opposition to clear out to win in a PB of 19 min 14 sec for the 5km. This was good reward for this tough little competitor, which will give her confidence for the future.
Another close contest was in the B12 2km where Max Taylor toiled hard in the wind to outlast Adam Barron and Sam Gilbert. The U12 grade has seen some terrific racing throughout 2014, which promises well for next year.
In other grades the winners were Ben Harrison in M19, Alex Langley in B14, Kim Creagh in Masters Women, Georgia Creagh in W16, Sophie Hogan in G14, Alia Wentz in G12 and Kieran Moore in Cubs.
Attention now switches to the 5km/2km which kicks off on the 7th October.
Napier Harrier Club Road Champs Results:-
Senior/Masters Men 10km – 1. Steve Charles 36.36. 2. James Bell 40.20. 3. Mark Speakman 40.47.
Masters Women 5km – 1. Kim Creagh 25.01. 2. Jenny Pearson 25.35. 3. Gina Finlayson 26.41.
M19 5km – 1. Ben Harrison 23.32. 2. Jason Pearson 23.34.
W19 5km – 1. Laura Langley 19.14. 2. Roisin Pearson 19.47. 3. Holly Manning 20.06.
M16 5km – 1. Connor Pearson 19.10. 2. Dylan Barron 19.11. 3. James Mikkleson 20.05.
W16 5km – 1. Georgia Creagh 22.43.
B14 5km - 1. Alex Langley 19.45. 2. Kingston Webb 21.20.
G14 5km – 1. Sophie Hogan 21.36. 2. Danielle Stephenson 36.32.
B12 2km – 1. Max Taylor 9.25. 2. Adam Barron 9.33. 3. Sam Gilbert 9.42.
G12 2km – 1. Alia Wentz 9.53. 2. Ella Hogan 12.04.