What a great weekend away – great racing, loads of laughs, and simply the highlight of the harrier season. This event keeps people like me in the sport! Of course many thanks to everyone for attending, the club committee for putting this together for us, and to John Crane for leading the organisation and taking such good care of everything.
Captain reports below the photos. More photos to be added over the week or so.
Another great year for the Composite Team finishing second in their grade.
The team as follows – in running order:-
Chris (what do they mean a small hill) Powell
Michael (they feared the beard) Hoogeveen
Matt (take that) Scott
Katie (see ya later matie) Stone
Colin (the Aussie battler) King
Arthur (girlie lap) Green (Composite Team CEO)
A great effort by the team to finish second with three over 50 runners behind the first placed team containing none!! Hard hill running by Chris and Mike to cover the first two legs followed by the two younger greyhounds making quick work of the next two flat laps earning themselves an even share of most valuable team member. The penultimate lap was a typically stoic effort by Colin with limited recent running under his belt with the race finished off by a broken arsed Team Captain on what can only be described as the most girly relay leg you will ever see!! Thank you to my team mates for giving 100% even though medals were not up for grabs. Great to see the Composite Team flying the flag for the Hawks yet again and once more I thank the club for including them as it is a great way for Club members to experience the National Road Relays without the associated pressure that can often accompany inclusion in a team in contention for medals and Top Club points.
Once again to all involved (both participation and/or organisation wise) congratulations and thank you.
Arthur, Composite Team Captain and CEO.
Seriously…the pressure I’ve been under!!!
Masters Men Team
The Masters Men’s race was always going to shape up into a repeat of the close contest over the last 4 or 5 years between Wellington Scottish, Papanui Toc H, Athletics Nelson and Hawks … and so it turned out!
With an excellent run from Andrew, we’d hit the lead on the first leg, Glenn also putting in a stunner to build a 30 second advantage over Nelson at the end of leg two, with Papanui not far behind. Scottish had started to just drift off the pace – it was already starting to look like a three-way battle for the medals.
Solid runs from Hadley and John held the lead, but Nelson and Papanui brought out some big guns for the long leg five. Jason toughed it out and kept them close – enabling our own “gun” (Kent) to re-establish the lead with a fastest MM lap up the hill. Over to Marc who put in an awesome downhill to hand over to Tony for the final lap … just 16 seconds behind Phil Costley from Nelson and with 1 min 40 seconds lead over Richard Bennett (Papanui) – the current Masters National Cross Country and Road Champion! Who would want to be in that position, sandwiched between the two best masters runners in the country?
Costley was never going to be threatened, bringing Nelson home for the win – but the race was on for silver and Tony delivered a truly outstanding performance to hold off Richard Bennett by 15 seconds.
So, silver for the Hawks Masters Men, and whilst the gold continues to remain just outside our grasp, we all share the view that this was a fantastic team performance, nothing short of 100% from every runner and a result that we’re very proud of.
Bring on next year and another crack at that elusive gold!
Senior Men Team
Really happy with how SM performed. 4 guys attending their 1st NRR, another 1st time in SM. More than half the van on debut. Corey doing his last NRR as a SM and Garit heading to Ramblers this would certainly be a development/transitional year.
Leg 1 was the Suter-vs-the-world classic. 20s slower than 4 years ago, yet faster than anticipated. Very very sore.
Garit given the job of leg 2. Having only noticed the hill in the elevation profile the day before he was anxious about how it would turn out. Very much in the thick of it with-A grade runners Garit had a great run. 12th fastest time of the day on a leg stacked with some of the best runners.
3rd out of the van, the Road Relay veteran Corsta with a point to prove. Still hunting for his elusive sub 35 10km for 2013, he battled all the way with a Pap-Toc runner before finally burying him in the last meters of the leg. 34 minutes and change. Guts!
Marcus next up with a long hard time-trial, showed good form off the back of a PB at club champs. Delivered to us another corpse for the van spending it all to exceed handicappers expectations.
Leg 5 saw Miguel out in clean air with little for company outside of the stunning scenery in what was fast becoming a beautiful Akaroa afternoon. The conquistador holding his composure and showing his class to finish hard at the base of Mt ridiculous.
Ant Hancy had the unenviable task of the ascending the monster hill and performed admirably. Internalizing his struggle as he chipped away at the climb. Desperation only apparent in the final moments as he offloaded the baton to Kris. The moment followed by some quiet time on the roadside overlooking Akaroa harbor. Antz with that 100 yard stare of a man that has seen too much.
Leg 7 is a lonely one and without a van of cheerleaders your runner is left out there to do their job unsupervised. Waiting at the bottom with a few beers and a big spatula to pick up the pieces we could only hope Kris would do what was expected of him. 9th SM, 14th fastest of the day. Better than any dared to dream, ‘run-of-the-day’ a deserved accolade for his accomplishment.
Ryan, our last trump card to play given the opportunity of glory and a certain battle with the omnipresent Lakes City. The perennial slug-fest once again playing out in their favor with Ryan far out of his depth against a fit Matt Parsonage (ring-in!). A classy finish by Ryan also clear of handicappers estimated time. A bright future ahead for a guy going from strength to strength. We’ll be watching Auckland Marathon with interest.
4th place in a grade we didn’t even qualify for. It was great to see fledgling relay runners exceed expectations and making no mistakes. A team I was proud to be part of and a relay I will always remember.
Senior Women Team
The Senior Women’s team of 2013 seemed like it was falling apart a few months ago but thankfully we all pulled together and made a pretty serious attempt at a repeat gold medal. North Harbour Bays and Canterbury were given the top spots in the earlier rankings and so we knew we’d all have to race hard to try for the title. Dawn started off with her always gutsy, consistently strong performance to give us a great start and handed the baton to Sarah. Unfortunately for Sarah her hamstring decided it had had enough and in a credit to sarah struggled on in what was probably the grossest relay leg ever. Thankfully she hung in there and was able to hand the baton over to our debut road relay runner Emily. Emily was neck and neck with the Wellington harriers runner and pulled out a huge run to smash 1minute off her 10k PB to continue us on in 5th place. the moto “you haven’t raced hard enough until you spew” was reverberating through the van but Emily held it together and bounced back pretty quickly. Katherine was up next and her first road run in months was always going to be tough. As usual she ran brilliantly and sped along the tarseal at pace before handing the slippery baton to Mikayla. If Mikayla was hungry before her leg then she needent have worried as there was enough bugs and midgey’s along the way to keep her full until xmas. The sun decided to appear as well and the combination made it a seriously tough day but she powered on for a solid run. The hill leg was up next and it was certainly a challenge. I’ve done a few hills recently but that one was fairly ugly and it was a lovely sight to hand the baton on still in 4th place to Kovo. Kovo is a legend, she absolutely ripped the downhill apart and taught everyone around her how to do it… awesome effort, fastest leg by several minutes and put us into a medal winning position. Speedy Camille was up next and it was going to take something super human to improve our position but she tried anyway. It was a tough leg but she made it look easy and every shot on dawn’s camera had her perfect stride captured. Camille ran us through the shoot in 3rd place so we were all absolutely rapt. A fun as day with loads of laughter, challenges and good memories. Next time we’ll get the title back. Thanks to Graham for the superb driving and support. One last thing to mention was to explain how John Bowe managed to beat me up the beasty hill on lap 6. A mishap at the airport resulted in our bags being switched. My lucky pink (surprise surprise) undies were manhandled by John as he tried to explain away the heavier bag and therefore rendering my lucky pink undies no longer lucky. They were tarnished. Hehe, thankfully i was alerted to the mistake before i went through his tighty whities!!!!!!!
Junior Man team
Lap 1 – Conor 5th fastest time
Lap 2 – Harry 5th
Lap 3 – Jacob 2nd (4th overall seniors etc)
Lap 4 – Thuenis 4th (8th overall)
Lap 5 – Oliver 11th
Lap 6 – Cameron 6th
We were in 5th place for the entire race, with Jacob taking 40 – 60 sec out of most of the top teams on his lap (except ACA), and Theunis holding ground against other top runners from around the country.
We were hoping to be amongst the medals, and thought that we did have a chance, but this was a very tough race with some good competition amongst the top 5 teams. All teams had the top juniors from around the country who had competed recently in the Australian XC champs.
Masters Women Team
I am so very proud of the clubs Masters woman’s team who ran with guts and determination to grab the silver medal. Our team had been severely depleted with injuries and withdrawals in the 10 days leading up to departure day but we had wonderful women who were able to fill the gap and bring us to the finish line. Kirsten got us off to a flying start not only getting to the top first (and making Scottish exclaim ” where the f…. Is our runner”) but also to the bottom. She handed over to Maureen, who as she is running the Melbourne marathon next weekend agreed to run to make sure we had a team, ran strongly up and over Geddes Pass. I was the next runner on my speciality flat leg and made it to the end very happy with my run. Ever reliable Karen took over and ran a blinder to bring us back within a minute of Scottish. Trish ran amongst the sand flies in the heat beside the lake to hold our position of second and hand over to our first relay virgin, Jenni. Up that hill she went without missing a beat and had the Masters Men commenting on her “focus”. Jenni may have another name for it. And then our second relay virgin Ellie took us down the hill. Thank you Ellie for stepping in only five days before the day to run like she had never run before! Our British import, Vicki, ran up and down, and up and down to come flying into the finish and was heard to comment “I would like to do that again next time” or words to the effect.
Thank you girls for a wonderful day and a fantastic result. You rock! Helen Hall-King
Master Men 2
A competitive 50/50 mix of MM40 + MM50
Kicked off by a great show of Grant Budd enthusiasm, keeping our MM1 team in sight.
Next up Norm kept the pressure on, making short work of the hills in leg 2 before passing on to Oscar (our team comedian), Garry (run till you drop) Wilson and marathon trained Mike Harris who all fought off the mozzies along the shores of lakes Ellesmere and Forsyth, before handing over to John Bowe, who had recently eaten $100 worth of groceries to supply the energy required to run well up the monster hill.
Next I, Kevin, ran along the tops to the longest down-hill ever, chasing but not catching the flying Kovo.
‘Chicked’ again. More training for me. “Why do my legs hurt so bad”.
I passed the baton to Dion to run leg 8 with Lake City hot on his heels. Dion held off this challenger for nearly 10km until Akaroa, where they slipped by. Close finish. Another Speights Carb shot may have done the trick. Great Team and great times.