Report by Olivia Ritchie
‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’
I found this quote from the great Sir Ed Hillary very well-fitting for last Saturday’s Sanitorium Hill race, which is thankfully over for another year! The last time I ran this race was two years ago, and to be honest, my ‘run’ would probably be more accurately described as a ‘grovel’. I vividly recall reaching the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ sign just over half way up and thinking to myself what a silly spot for such a sign. Already I felt like I was falling backwards, and at that moment I was far from thankful.
Turning corner after corner I was thrilled to reach the farm shed and what I had assumed to be the top, aka finish. But my relief soon turned to devastation as I was directed up two more walk-inducing pinches to the ‘very top’ and actual finish. Thankfully Dad served as a great taxi service that year and I successfully slunk away with him after, absolutely shattered!
This year was mine to redeem myself. And in order to do so, I knew I must be prepared. Thanks to some regular Wednesday arvo run with our famous mountain running champ, Emerson Deverell, and what has now become a handful of Cambridge Hills loops shared with fellow Hamilton and Cambridge running nuts, I felt more ready than I’d ever been to take on the challenge. Although I can honestly admit to being far from a mountain goat, I was thrilled with myself for finishing without walking, to have pulled in a lil time on Gracie (instead of watching her fly away into the horizon like 2years ago!), and to have successfully enjoyed a side-tracked run back down through the forest – no quick getaway this time as Dad had buggered off to sneak in some heat training at Fiji instead!
It was really awesome to see such a strong turn-out from both the Hawks and Cambridge Harriers. Huge thanks also to the Cambridge Harriers for hosting such a well-run event. I hope to see you all back next year, even stronger than ever! And if, like Dad, you conveniently missed (avoided) the event this year, I challenge you to pencil it in for next year. Give it a go and challenge yourself. I promise, it is well worth it!
Report by Mudlark
The popular challenge of running up Maungakawa/Sanitorium Hill in Cambridge attracted 28 Hawks club members on Saturday. It was a typical mid winter day, clear with a nippy SW wind and the views of snow clad volcanic peaks beyond Lake Karapiro to the south and the bush clad Kaimais to east more than compensated for the lung searing effort of mastering the mountain run.
Held in combination with host club Cambridge the uphill race proved to be an excellent short sharp blast prior to the WBOP cross country champs next week in Taupo. PhD student John Mering clocked the fastest time for our club of 19.16 to prove he will be a very useful addition to the senior men’s ranks. Next best was Jai Davies-Campbell who despite his heavy head cold made the journey to the top in 22.23 just a few clicks faster than Kent Hodgson’s 21.27. Other pleasing masters runs came from Andrew Wark 22.41 and John Bowe 22.50. Good to see John back running again after an injury break.
Among the women quickest to the summit was W20 national mountain champ Emerson Deverell who at 23.14 was just one second quicker than Olivia Ritchie with younger sibling Grace on 23.25. It was pleasing to see Marian Millward racing again and she appeared to enjoy running injury free. There were querying looks from other club’s members when they noted Kent leading the traditional Hawks 3 lap walk around the World War 2 pill boxes at the top.
Detailed results may be posted on the Cambridge Harrier Club website.