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Monday, 28 August 2017

2017 National Road Champs Christchurch Sat 2 Sep – Preview

Start List
ANZ Preview (30 Aug)
Christchurch Press Preview (1 Sep)

The start lists for this event have now been published and as one would expect numbers are low. 

Astonishingly ANZ have a goal of increasing entries for established championship events by a whopping 5% each year for the next five years or so. Talk about ambitious, but I digress.

I imagine that later this week ANZ will publish a preview (this has now been published see link above) of how they see the various races unfolding but now that entries have closed I thought I might give you my thoughts.

The Senior Women’s race has 19 starters – there were 12 entries in 2016 at Masterton.  

My bet is that ANZ will predict the race to be fought out by Laura Nagel who is the current Nat SW road champ and Ruby Muir the current Nat SW XC champ. 

We know that Ruby is race fit but I am not sure what Laura has been doing lately. Nagel didn’t line up for the Nat XC champs in Auckland even though she had entered. 

So the question is whether Ruby has the speed on the road to match the undoubted strength she has on the off-road. 

And when it comes to the XC in Auckland then Penny Peskett should to be mentioned, the bold masters grade Aucklander who was the only one to challenge Muir. And as onlookers will tell you she looked dangerously dangerous on the last couple of laps as she started to close on Muir. 

Three other names to chuck into the mix are Esther Keown, Olivia Burne and masters queen Sally Gibbs.  

In the Senior Men’s race 37 athletes will line up. There were 24 in 2016. 

The first thing to note is that neither the current Nat XC champ Craig Lautenslager nor Jono Jackson will be there. 

So it looks like Mr Reliable, Daniel Balchin the current Nat Road champ will be favoured to win again but then he will be up against Aaron Pulford (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) who ran a 65.35 half marathon on the Gold Coast in July  

So who else could challenge?  Maybe Caden Shields from Otago who also ran a 65.42 half marathon just behind Pulford in July or Oska Baynes (Canterbury) who ran 66 03 in the same race.   

Dark horses could be Nick Horspool and the road running specialists Wreford brothers from Timaru.  

The team’s race looks like a toss- up between Canterbury and Wellington. Could be interesting.

I note that former Scottish A team superstar Craig Kirkwood is also running but he may just be there to get in some road relay practice. Or maybe to cheer on the current Senior Boys Secondary Schools and National U18 XC champ Sam Tanner who he coaches.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

2017 Wellington Road Champs Wainuiomata Sat 19 Aug


Lachlan Haitana winner of U20 Men's race
Scott Russell showed his road running strength by pulling away on the last lap to pick up the centre title for 2017.  And posting a time of 31.06 isn't too bad either.

Nick Horspool who led the charge of Scottish singlets for most of the race was 2nd while NZ Mountain Running representative Daniel Jones 3rd. 

My first thought was that today's win was Russell's revenge for the cross country champs at Grenada North where he came 2nd to Hospool.

My second mulling was that Scottish with 10 runners home in the first 12 are going to be hard to beat at the NZ Road Relay Champs. And I am not even sure if everybody was there.

My third deep thought was that Isaac Murphy (WHAC) is running particularly well at the moment having done well at the NZ cross country champs in Auckland a few weeks ago. And lo and behold Brian Garmonsway.(Trentham United) and Chris McIlroy (Scottish) are back.

And my final point is that Athletics Wellington need to see if it can find a better course than Wainuiomata. 

Is that a grimace or a smile on Nick Horspool's face?

Thursday, 17 August 2017

2017 Wellington Secondary Schools Road Race Trentham Memorial Park Upper Hutt Wed 16 Aug

AWD 1.5km

Isiah Kouka-Albert (Heretaunga College) crossed the line first in the AWD race, after outsmarting the dog


This event is the last of 3 annual races aimed at high school age runners.  The first two were cross country while today’s event, the last, is nominally a road race. 

There should actually be 4 events, but the road relay champs scheduled for 2 August was cancelled because of low entries.

The course for the road champs is pretty basic and takes runners around the sealed path that goes around the perimeter of the main park area. 

The start and finish areas are next to the Trentham United clubrooms.

Distances were 3km, 4km and 6km. AWD competitors did 1.5km.

The closest race of the day was between the Junior Girls (Year 9 and under).  A large leading group mostly stuck together for two of the three laps but on the last lap this had whittled down to two. 

So over the last 1km the battle was between Jessica Hughes (Wellington East College) and Katelyn Sceats (Chilton St James College).  

A betting person may have picked Hughes to win but it was the diminutive Sceats who came through to win by 1 second. 

So if you have never heard of Katelyn Sceats then you have now.

In the other grades the winners are well known with a good record of successes at both a local and national level. 

Junior Girls 3km 

Katelyn Sceats (Chilton St James School) winner of Junior Girls race

Happy Tawa College 1

Junior Boys 3km 

Will Anthony (Scots College) easily won the Junior Boys race

Intermediate Girls 3km

Happy Tawa College 2

Esther Kozyniak (St Catherine's College) on the right finished 16 seconds ahead of Lucy Hegan (Wellington Girls College)

Intermediate Boys 4km

Finn Seeds (Hutt International Boys School) dominated the field to win 

Man on bike making GoPro doco 

Probably needs a 3 axis gimbal 

The tailenders have the benefit of taking in the scenery

Senior Girls 4km

Following the leader 

Kirsty Rae (Wellington East Girls College) went on to win

Senior Boys 6km

Toby Gualter (Tawa College) ran out for roughly two of the four 1,5km laps. 

The danger men

Seamus Kane (Onslow College) makes his break on the last lap

Dylan Lynch (left) picked up 2nd place with Jack Marshall 3rd. Both Wellington College

Saturday, 12 August 2017

2017 Bays Relay Wellington Sat 22 Aug (50th Birthday)

As I recall this event never really became popular until all of the other longer and larger relays disappeared. In fact I believe the Bays Relay event was originally a junior only event, because the lap distances were relatively short.  What would be nice would be to see the results from back years, if they still exist. 

Dom Post Preview

Photos above are of Nick Willis in 2004 at the lap 3 changeover. The photos below are all from 2009 at the lap 3 changeover.