Saturday morning arrived dry but blustery in Cambridge. The forecast was for heavy rain in the Bay of Plenty, so as I drove over the Kaimais I was surprised to see no black clouds looming over the Tauriko estate.
After finding the Waikato tent and selecting a singlet I set out with Maureen for a warm up run. The weather was fine with light winds, almost perfect conditions. All race distances were made up of a combination of small and large laps, throw in a couple of sneaky gradients and some head wind and there you have your course.
With the ten minute call till start time we lined up in our teams, the smell of the sausage sizzle by the start line adding to my queasy pre-race stomach! Finally we were off, two small laps and one large. Feeling pretty happy on lap one I was hopeful I would creep up the field from 5th place and latch onto Victoria Humphries from Wellington. However, my body had other plans and my race turned into a hard fought battle placing me 6th overall and 4th in my age group. Bridget was close behind and took bronze in the 45-49 age group and then Maureen with a new PB of 19.47 and a silver in the 50-54 age group. Karyn was on her heels placing 5th in the 45-49 age group which gave us ladies representing the Waikato the bronze team medals. Trish who has been plagued by injury these past couple of weeks put in a brave appearance but reluctantly called it a day half way round when the injury reared its head again.
My favourite part of race day is throwing some extra clothes on and going for a warm down to cheer on the rest of the races. Trish and I checked out the Hawks form and yelled encouragement as the pained faces of the racers sped by. It was a great spectator course and top marks have to be awarded to the organisers.
The Hawks put in some great performances with several podium places.
In the Women under 18 Emerson Deverall was beaten to second by a mere 60 seconds to take silver and post an impressive time of 17.56. Talia Hogan took bronze in the womens under 20, while Jacob Priddey took silver in the mens under 20 race with Theunis Pieters coming 5th and Oliver Mclean taking 11th. Matthew Scott ran a great race and placed 9th in the mens under 18 race. Isaiah Priddey winning the Boys Under 15 3km.
In the Masters men John Crane continued his winning ways to take out his 50-54 age group. Kevin Knowles placed 4th in the 55-59 age group and Marc Scott 4th in the 45-49 age group.
Tim Stewart had a hard fought battle in the senior mens race and placed 8th with only seconds separating the group from 4th place.
Camille Buscomb defended her senior women’s title taking gold in a sharp 34.14. Emily Roughan took 6th in 37.42.
And thanks to Mike Harris for catching the action on camera.
Report by Katy Dawson
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