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Monday, 19 November 2012

2012 Newtown Park Wellington Track Upgrade

These photos show the work to replace the track at Newtown Park in Wellington is progresing well. Most of the earthworks and substrate work appears to be mostly completed.  The track is due to be ready in January 2013 and provided the weather doesn't turn to custard that should be achieved.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

2012 National Road Relay Nelson Sat 6 Oct

In what must have been a nail-biting finish the Scottish Men's A team broke through on the last lap to take out the 2012 champions title with a resurgent New Brighton in second.

Scottish won the title back in 2004 when in controversial fashion it was placed first after the Bays Cougars team was given a time penalty for running a short lap. This event was also contested on the roads of Nelson (including some dusty forestry roads) with orange cones were everywhere.

The comeback of New Brighton as a national force is significant because it was one of the clubs to beat in the late 70's and 80's.

Unfortunately National Road Relays results from last century are scare but here is a link to the results of the 1980 Wellington to Masterton event which in the A grade alone had 24 teams of 10 men.  The results are not the easiest to read but it includes many recognisable names.

Athletic NZ 2012 race report and key results

The photo shows a younger Tim Hodge brining home the bacon for the winning Scottish Junior Team in the 2003 National Road Relay at Fielding

The winning 2004 Scottish Men's A Team in the National Road Relay, Nelson

Monday, 3 September 2012

2012 National Road Champs Wellington Sat 1 Sep

Tim Hodge with winners medal
In the Masters Men battle, this is where the break came. Just around the corner is the finish
Ray Martin protecting the course from wandering ducks
Hamish back from overseas with new look haircut and ready to be an official
Leading them out with 9km to go
15 year old Jack Beaumot came all the way from Lumsden for his Men's 16 race
Sarah Drought looking strong
Unlike Prince Harry, coach Kevin Ross successfully fends off the marauding paparazzi
Ben Barry ran himslf into the ground after helping to make the pace for four of the five laps. A valiant effort
The great Bernie Portenski

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

2012 Bays Relay Wellington Aug 11

The Bays Relay heralded the start of the road racing season. It was a beautiful day and perfect for lap records.  I believe there were a couple. I embedded myself at the lap 2/3 changeover because this is where the light is best. At this stage of the race it can get can hectic but Louise McDonald and the WHAC marshals did a great job managing the incoming/outgoing runners in a tricky part of the course safety wise.  

I missed the Wellington Road Champs at Wainuiomata but Kip Kemei (Scottish) was the unsurprising winner in the Senior Men’s 10k race.  Tim Hodge and Ben Barry (both Scottish) delivered good performances and Ben in particular is having a great season given that he was sidelined with injury for a while last year. In the Senior Women’s race, Sarah Drought (WHAC) is in a class of her own.  

Coming up in the next few weeks are the National Road Champs in Wellington and beyond that the National Road Relays in Nelson.  Although blurry at this stage, I have visions of The Cone.

And before I forget here is a photo of Olympian race walker Quentin Rew in running mode.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

2012 Wellington XC Champ Races Waikanae Sat 14 Jul

If anybody slipped over out the back of the course, then I missed it. Except for the shot of Martin van Barneveld below picking himself up after a slip just before the big hill climb. This year all of the jumps were amongst the trees making picture taking conditions very dull. So for the most part, I camped up at the top gate with a good view of the valiant hill climbing efforts. The view from the top is magnificent indeed and with the light drizzle the landscape looked like something that Constable would paint, if he were alive today. 

Despite what appeared to be thin fields, there seemed to be some good racing across the grades.  As expected Wellington Harriers dominated the Junior Men’s grades while Scottish smothered everyone else in the Senior Men’s race. Kip Kemei was the first senior man home which is no surprise given that he has won every race started. I hope he is able to make it to the national XC event in Hamilton next month to continue his success. What would be even more interesting is whether he is able to make it to the National Road Relays which might give Scottish its best chance of winning the coveted national title once again.

When you're feeling like this.....

....then it's time for a pit stop to tie up the shoelaces


Kip Kemei with the Wellington Centre XC Championship Shield, retained by Scottish

Sunday, 24 June 2012

2012 Armstrong Motors Harbour City Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10k Races, Wellington Sun 24 Jun

The weatherman said it would be a cold day for running, and it was. Luckily the rain held off. Kip Kemei cleaned up in the half-marathon clocking up 1.06.40 for a course record. This would be Kemei's 5th half-marathon win from 5 starts during his New Zealand visit. In the full marathon Graeme Taylor from Nelson had a comfortable win in 2.33.58, while triathlete Cameron Goldsmid cruised home in 32.25 in the 10k.

And for those that thought the famous Auckland Owairaka Club was extinct, look at this..

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

2012 Dorne Cup XC Races Trentham Memorial Park Upper Hutt Sat 9 Jun

On display for this annual winter event were the lovely colours of autumn and, to the delight of athletes, reasonable underfoot conditions. Despite the construction of a new footbridge the two stream crossings were still part of the course which adds to spectator interest.  The photo below shows Kip Kemei trying to bound the stream in one leap. It didn’t work and he got his feet wet. Peter Wrigley, London Olympics Race Walk judge kept his feet dry and the other photo below shows how he did it.  Provisional results

Sunday, 3 June 2012

2012 Wellington Secondary Schools XC Races Trentham Memorial Park Upper Hutt Wed 30 May

This event gives those entered for the National Secondary Schools XC later this month to get some practice. The race distances, the grade format and probably the terrain at Trentham are likely to be mirrored in the national event, so it is a worthwhile exercise.  As you would expect, those that did well at the park were those familiar harrier club and track and field athletes who are very much at home in racing mode. Once the runners sort themselves out it becomes evident which ones find that competing XC is not as easy at it sounds.

The pictures below show, on two separate occasions, Heretaunga College students stopping to help a mate not doing so well.  I was impressed by this show of high school sportsmanship and character which the school should be proud of.

Friday, 25 May 2012

2012 Ekiden Race Walking Relay Championship, Trentham, Upper Hutt Sun 20 May

By any measure, race walking is not the most exciting of athletic events, and it is probably better to be a participant than an observer. While the sport is technically and physically demanding it is often parodied by those who think it’s weird.
For a few years now, Scottish has organised the annual Ekiden Relay which doubles at the Race Walking NZ Relay Champs. The event attracts walking teams from around NZ. Teams are made up of 6 walkers who between them cover 42.2km using a 1.2km lap.

Dave Lonsdale, race organiser has posted his report on the event here.

Making a rare appearance this year was local Quentin Rew, recently named to be part of the NZ team to contest the London Olympics. Rew  who has a competitive running background is relatively new to race walking but has proven to be pretty darned good at it.  His rise to prominence hasn’t been without its interesting moments .  For example he time he was disqualified at the 2009 National Track & Field Champs in Wellington when at the finish of the 3km race which he had effectively won, he was disqualified for executing a forward roll.  The infraction wasn’t technical reasons but because of his “ungentlemanly conduct.   Somebody should have told the officials that Rew attended Otago University where such behaviour would have been applauded amongst the student body.  He later told a Hawke’ Bay newspaper he had done something similar at the end of a walking race in 2005 when competing in the Otago Track & Field Champs, presumably without a problem.  There was recently an interview with Rew published in the NZ Herald that makes interesting reading, especially the bit about cheating.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

2012 Vosseler Shield Mt Victoria Wellington Sat 19 May

The Vosseler Shield is a tough bugger no matter which way you look at it. Starting on the lower Eastern side of Mt Victoria, the course takes runners up to Alexandra before dropping down to the Western side of the hill. It’s all mostly run on single track with some bits of open space. None of it is easy with little flat running to speak of. It has been described as the toughest cross-country race in NZ and once you run it you have to believe it. Even the kids, who are not spared the gut wrenching first uphill section, would agree. Responsible for it all is Grahem Tattersall the WHAC Race Director.

This year the Senior Men’s 10km winner was nationally ranked triathlete Martin van Barneveld while in the Senior Women’s grade it was Sarah Drought from Wellington Harriers. The only glitch of the day was the failure of the electronic timing section, but the day was saved by handy human backup. 2012 provisional individual results

Dave Kettles heading down the track for the last time

Thursday, 17 May 2012

2012 Barefeoot Running and Weird Shoes

Mark Handley (Olympic) is noted locally for running barefoot when the opportunity arises. He’s good at it – in fact he won the Wellington XC one year racing around the course without shoes. These days the new trend in shoes includes a “five fingered foot glove” model which fits snugly to one’s footsie. It must feel different, but does it offer a similar experience to barefoot running. Pictured below is a pic of Mark in “footsie au naturel” at the Varsity Relays and club mate Chris Speakman wearing the latest foot glove.


development of innovative footwear continues then it could go anywhere. Maybe some of these models might make an appearance at future races.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

2012 University Relays, QEII Park Paekakariki Sat 12 May

This relay is run through the sand dunes and bleached grasses of QEII Park. For the main race the 4 members of each team navigate a 3.86km lap with plenty of undulations to make it interesting. There are no obstacles because as I understand it the organisers are worried about OSH issues and the risks of being prosecuted by the Labour Department if somebody should hurt themselves. From what I could see, it looked as if Scottish had mashed up its Senior Men's A and B teams to redistribute their combined strength more evenly.  The result was that the Wellington Harriers A Team spreaheaded by junior running star Julian Oakley came through to grab a rare senior grade win and put some early season points on the board. The 3 kids races were non-relay scratch events of no more than 2km in distance.  2012 Results

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

2012 Shaw Baton Relays, Battle Hill Pauatahanui, Sat 28 Apr

The annual dash and splash, skip the light fandango, at Battle Hill ended with the predictable Scottish win in the main Senior Men’s race. This now brings the number of consecutive victories to 17, which in terms of dominance might be good for Scottish but not necessarily for the sport as a whole. Despite that the race is a cracker and a good indicator of early season form. I missed getting out this year, so no photos from me. The images below are all from 2010. Results 2012 2011