The photos posted here are compressed by Google software. I am happy to provide high-resolution images - just let me know what you require at There is no cost.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

2017 Dorne Cup Trentham Memorial Park Upper Hutt - Course Changes

Start of the Senior Women's Race 2008
The big news is that the course for the 2017 Dorne has been changed.  The changes affect the 2km and 4km laps and details can be found here.

Wellington Harriers currently hold the Dorne title and it is no secret that they want to keep it. And I imagine that the club’s strategists have been looking at how they can pull off another win to follow-up the surprise Shaw Baton victory.

The Dorne is a team race which means clubs need to be able to get their first six runners well up in the placings.  A club with a big number of starters has a better chance of pushing back a potential team counter from an opposition club.

Getting a winning team home is a bit easier compared to how it used to be when 10 counted for a team.  As the sport has shrunk so have race distances and counting team numbers.  In fact the only things that have increased over the years are the numbers of children participating, women and masters. And of course staff numbers at Athletic New Zealand.

Now I have no idea who will front for the Dorne but at the back of my mind I keeping wondering where triathlete Cam Goldsmid is.  

Cam won the individual Dorne title for Scottish in 2014, got sidelined by a mountain bike injury, but now appears to be back in action.  Earlier this year he won an off road half marathon in Taranaki running in WHAC colours but since then I have heard nothing.  

Cam Goldsmid winning in 2014

And here is a bonus

Sunday, 21 May 2017

2017 Vosseler Shield Mt Victoria Wellington Sat 20 May

Suffer (verb) experience or be subjected to something unpleasant or bad


hurt, ache, be in pain, feel pain, be racked with pain, endure agony, agonize, be distressed, be in distress, experience hardship, be upset, be miserable, be wretched


Ruby Muir impressive over the 10k course (45.07). She would have nailed the championship title is she had lined up for the 5k event

Steeplechaser and mountain runner, Harry Burnard made short work of the opposition on the tough Vosseler course leading throughout to pick up the winners medal.  Rain during the week and especially on the morning of the race made underfoot conditions slippery and treacherous in parts. Harry was not immune and on lap two slid on his arse on the downhill section adjacent to the finish line.  Others had similar experiences.

And is Ruby Muir the new Melissa Moon?

Athletics New Zealand Weekly Roundup

“94th Vosseler Shield Mountain Races, Mt Victoria – 20 May 2017
Harry Burnard won the senior 10km in 41:01 from Kristian Day 41:46, Dougal Thorburn 41:54 and Nick Horspool 43:43. Wellington Scottish were first in the teams.
Sarah Drought won the women’s 5km in 23:14 from Lizzy Bunckenburg 23:45 and Alice Feslier Holmes 24:15. Wellington Harrier Athletic Club won the teams.
Seamus Kane won the U/20 men’s 5km in 20:06 from Lachlan Haitana 20:19 and Callum Stewart 20:41. Teams to Wellington HAC.
Maiya Christini won the U/20 women’s 3.7km in 14:58 the teams to Wellington HAC. Liam Chesney won the U/18 men’s 3.7km in 12:26 from Max Karamanolis 12:33, teams to WHAC. Phoebe McKnight won the U/18 women’s 3.7km in 13:11 teams to WHAC. 
Master men 40 10km Daniel Clendon 42:09, Stephen Day 42:22, Stewart Milne 45:17, teams WHAC. Master men 50 10km David Kettles 47:04, Michael Wray 48:32, teams Wellington Scottish. Master men 60 5km Graeme Burr 27:35, teams Olympic. Master men 70 5km Brian Hayes 28:53, teams WHAC. 
Master women 35 5km Tamara Winkler 25:51, teams WHAC. Master women 50 5km Victoria Humphries 26:08, teams Wellington Scottish. Master women 60 5km Michelle Allison 30:09, teams Wellington Scottish.
Non championship women’s 10km Ruby Muir 45:07.
Barry Everitt Plate: WHAC 8202, Wellington Scottish 6589, Hutt Valley 5278”

Thursday, 18 May 2017

2017 Vosseler Shield Mt Victoria Wellington - Shoe Advice

How to avoid this, Actually don't
This weekend the Vosseler Shield will be run for the 94th year. I hope Wellington Harriers have started planning for the 100th anniversary.

The Vosseler has been described as the toughest cross race in New Zealand and if you take out the specialist mountain running events this is probably true. 

The current course was mostly designed by the late Gary Weston-Webb who clearly had an evil side to him. But those who ran with Gary knew he liked challenges.

The debate about what to wear on your feet at the Vosseler has forever been ongoing. I personally preferred short spikes but have run it in waffles. Although on a wet course I am not so sure about flats.

It could make a difference that in my day we started on the road outside of the WHAC clubrooms and went down the long track that is off Alexandra Road, and which runners now come up to the glare of the jeering and unruly mob. 

The long grass slope that the runners go up at the start on the Ruahine St side of Mt Vic was a downhill section. Slip sliding away.

But back to footwear. Api Williams has included the options in the latest Scottish Newsletter, but also below I have included a piece stolen from the Olympic Harriers website which includes comments by Barry Prosser.

"The jury is still out as to whether you wear spikes or not. The options are:
1                     Spikes – not suited for long spikes due to road sections
2                     Filed down (stumpy) spikes – the preference of some in wet and muddy conditions
3                     Trail shoes – something light with a waffle sole to maximise grip
4                     Running shoes – next best option if you don’t have any of the above 

5                     Racing flats – good luck"
6                     Don Dalgliesh Special 1 - Modified Soccer Boots
7                     Don Dalgliesh Special 2 - Training Flats with strips of bike tyres glued to the sole

Secrets of a mountain runner
The 94th Vosseler Shield race is a WHAC hosted interclub event to be held on Saturday 20 May.  For those who have not encountered it – you’re in for a treat. Described as a combination of bush track and sealed roads, the race has show-cased some of the greats from New Zealand mountain running.

Barry Prosser, the “Father of Mountain Running” in New Zealand, generously agreed to share his tips on running the Vosseler.  (Check out his profile.

“So it starts with a hill” said Barry “and you really want to be at the front of the pack on this first hill because after that the track gets narrow.” 

He recommends working your arms hard to keep the legs moving, and reminding yourself that everyone is feeling as bad as you are.

“The first people to the top have the advantage. Aim to get in front (or as close to it as you can) before the top”, concentrating on putting in as much effort as you can on each hill.

Barry recommends solid ups and flowing downs. “You don’t want to be staring at your feet on the downs but looking a little ahead and thinking about foot placement.  Ideally walk the course before the race and plan out your route around obstacles or steep declines.”

The Vosseler isn’t suited for spikes, Barry instead recommends trail shoes – something light with a waffle sole to maximise grip. Wherever you are in the race, watch the people around you, see who you can chip away at and overtake on the next hill. 

Barry warms up on the flatter sections of the hill near the start and closer to the race does 3 – 4x100 metre stride-outs. Then relax!

“Fridays before a race I do a light run to loosen up. Even on the Wednesday and Thursday I ease up, the last real training session being on the Tuesday before the race.”

His recommended race food: honey on lightly toasted bread – not too much butter – eaten 3 – 4 hours before the event.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

2017 Wgtn Secondary Schools XC Relays Karori Park Wellington Wed 10 May

That way! Scots College to the rescue

Results: Summary (top 3 teams in each grade and fastest times)
Results: Full results
Results: Individual lap times

Don Dalgliesh has been organising and running these relays on behalf of Scottish since 1977 which is pretty remarkable. 

The relays are traditionally held at Karori Park although other locations have been used when the park is not available. Teams are comprised of 6 runners for the boys and 4 for the girls. The lap is a 2km circuit of the park which includes a couple of challenging uphill sections.

Most regional schools are represented as it provides much needed racing practice ahead of the National  Secondary Schools XC Champs held in June and because relays are just fun.  Scratch cross country races to be held at Harcourt Park on 31 May also helps to test racing fitness.

Wanganui Collegiate traditionally come down for the relays but this year they were absent. However Palmerston North Boys High who came for the first time last year did enter and didn’t they do well in picking up the fastest team title in the Senior Boys Grade.  

The school also picked up 2nd place in the Under 16 Boys Grade. 

In the Senior Girls Grade Marsden Collegiate School grabbed the winner’s title 1 second ahead of Hutt Valley High School – that must have been a nail biting time for both schools. 

All done