It seems like yesterday but it has been one year since Bernie Portenski died of cancer after a long illness. Many Wellingtonians would have been in races with the queen of the road and would glanced helplessly sideways as she glided past.
So while we don't have Bernie with us anymore today we did see the equally famous Melissa Moon guiding sight impaired Maria Williams the course. These two have put a lot of miles away in their training and racing runs so I can assume they are getting ready for a big event.
And then there is Will Critchlow. Had a sore guts before the race and was even considering not starting. But what the hell, off he goes after putting his timing chip on where it should be and then cruises home in first place. Sheesh. This is his 2nd win now which is not too bad considering his lifetime ambition was to win the race at least once. His time of 17.48 is nowhere near his best but when considering the blustery conditions it will have to do.
In second place was Tim Judge in a time of 18.05. Interestingly in November he had to run a minute quicker to grab 2nd place but once again conditions can influence whether you go hard out or just do enough to pick up a top 3 placing
Frank Smith was 3rd in 18.33, a PB for him by roughly 30 seconds. This is his 2nd start in this event so once he gets a feel for the course and pace judgement I expect times to get better, conditions permitting.
In the women's race Emma Barrett was first in 20.35 and 17th overall. This is her third win and while the time produced is not her best you can tell that she is going to get quicker. Lucy Lawlor was 2nd in 21.13 but she was chased hard by youngster Mikayla Joyce who crossed the line in 21.20 for 3rd and a PB.
Pacing today was off-road champion Dan Jones who will be doing the Coast to Coast in a couple of weeks as part of a 3 person team. Dan recently won the men's division of the Holdsworth Jumbo race near Masterton and I believe now has the race record. Ruby Muir won the women's grade and also smashed the record.
The Five Eyes Electronic Timing System continues to evolve with Daryl reporting that only two chips were not picked up last week.
And finally, where is Brendon?