"Throw away your 10-function chronometer, heart-rate monitor with the computer printout, training log, high-tech underwear, pace charts, and laboratory-rat-tested-air-injected-gel-lined-mo-tion-control-top-of-the-line footwear. Run with your own imagination." - Lorraine Moller
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there were lots of kids and accompanying parents at Sunday’s event.
seems to be going from strength to strength no doubt due to the sustained marketing
undertaken by Athletics Wellington targeted at children’s and youth grades.
Interestingly Athletics New Zealand membership
figures for 2014/15 reveal that children aged up to 14 make up 67% of total ANZ
membership. That’s roughly 13,460 kids out of total membership of 20,035.
biggest membership group are master’s men and women claiming around 8% of overall
surprise is that competitive men and women in the open grade (20-39) only make
up 3% of total ANZ membership. Given this imbalance cross the grades it would
not be that radical to suggest that athletics in NZ is dominated by kids and
oldies (with all due respect for age).
It looks like we were lucky with the rain at Waikanae which
stayed away for the majority of races. I suspect that weather related traffic delays
prevented some people from getting to at least the first race if not others. School holidays and the prospect of less than
ideal conditions may have also impact on numbers which seemed lower than usual.
In the first race, a fit Michael Wray (Scottish) ran a well-judged
race to easily head off any opposition to clock 31.11 for the win, a just
reward for all the hard work he has put in over the season. No doubt he will be
a serious medal prospect at the National XC Champs in Christchurch in a few
weeks. Second home was Todd Stevens (Scottish)
in 31.50 while Simon Keller (Scottish) hit the line 8 seconds behind to claim 3rd
In the Senior Women’s race Nicole Mitchell (Scottish) ran solo
to be clear by over 2 minutes at the finish line. Second on the come-back trail
was Sarah Gardner (Trentham) with Olympics’ Lizzie Bunckenburg 3rd..
In race 2 Renae Creser (Kapiti) clocked 26.33 for fastest Masters
Woman (W35) while Vicky Humphries (W50) from WHAC posted the 2nd fastest
time of 27.06.
In the Men’s U18 event Stefan Przhchodzko (Kapiti) broke
away from the pack early and steadily increased his lead to win in 21.13.Seamus Lane (Olympic) ran a well-judged race to
pick up 2nd in 22.02 overtaking early pacemaker Joel Carman (Hutt
Valley) who finished 9 seconds later for 3rd.
Michaela Walker (Olympic) outpaced a small field in the
Women’s U18 grade winning in a time of 17.10.Jayme Maxwell (Hutt Valley) was 2nd in 18.08 with Kezia Smith
(Olympic) 3rd in 19.15.
In the main Senior Men’s race a leading pack of 7 stayed
close together for the first couple of laps before Tim Hodge (Scottish) put
down the hammer and moved slowly away from a chasing Evan Cooper (Scottish) and
Ryan McAlister (WHAC).Basically this
was the order of the top 3 finishers. Overall there were 29 finishers in the SM race
which makes you wonder whether this grade is heading for extinction within the
When you consider that in 2014/15 20,035 were
registered with Athletics New Zealand had but this number only included 351 competitive
Senior Men. Senior Women had even less members with a paltry 223. The only
grades with smaller numbers were Men U20 (153) and Women (103). If we are not
careful participation in athletics will be limited to masters and kids.