Taitua Arboretum Relay 2017 Results

Report by Mathijs Wetzels

A beautiful winter’s day brought a good turnout to this year’s Taitua Arboretum Relay. Six teams of five runners, all randomly drawn out of Kevin’s hat, lined up for a 3km challenging but enjoyable run under the trees and over the meandering well-formed gravel tracks of the arboretum. The first wave of runner’s came through with Team 5’s David in the lead with a sharp time of 14:06. After a bit of jostling for positions, Kevin clawed back the lead for Team 6 with a 14:02 lap time. Mark’s speedy 13:16 got Team 5 back in the lead again. Kovo from Team 4, was the fastest woman home at 14:11 and narrowed the gap. This left Joe to chase Maureen for the win. Maureen was storming home but Joe’s young legs proved faster and he caught Maureen on the last gnarly hill before the finish line, in the day’s fastest time of 12:08, to claim victory for Team 4 in a total time of 1:19:23.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon and all runners ran their heart out for their team. Many thanks to Kevin for organising this neat event and setting up the race course. Unfortunately some jokers in the public, thought it would be fun to change the arrow’s direction so at times the race almost became an Orienteering event.

On that note a very special thanks goes to the Search & Rescue party, led by Marc, Kent, Andrew and Ross, who rescued Team 6’s last runner (who shall remain anonymous) from being lost in the woods (but who is now able to write this report) 🙂


Report by Nick Freke

On a pleasant Winter afternoon a good contingent of Hawks turned out for the Taitua Arboretum Relay run. As a debutant in this event, I was not sure what to expect, and while I understand the format and course has changed slightly most years, the run takes place in a great setting that is very easy to get to.
With a background chorus of crowing rosters Kevin briefed the runners on the course and format of the run, six evenly matched 5 person teams were selected and the teams were left to determine their race strategies (runner placement).
Many of the gathered runners went for a warm-up trot over the course prior to the start (which in hindsight I should have paid more attention on!), and then we were off.
The 3km loop started with a fairly steep downhill (which meant it ended with a fairly steep uphill),  and I would describe the course rolling with a number of sharp turns. While the course was well marked out, there were quite a number of intersecting paths, which could (and did) create some confusion for runners who in their haste to get round may have missed signage.
Having done this twice myself, I was comforted to know that I was in good company (with Dave Southwick, Garry Wilson, and Maureen Leonard among others), Trish Stockman helpfully noted at the end that running is not always about how fast you can move you feet, but also how well you engage your brain while doing it…a fair point it would seem.
In the end (notwithstanding some people covering extra distance), the finish was a tight one with the first and second teams finishing within about 30 seconds of each other, and the next two teams only a further minute or so back (see results posted below).
In the end a fun event (thanks Kevin), run in great conditions, and the icing on the cake (figuratively and literally) was the wonderful baking that Fiona supplied, her lemony sponge going down a treat!
Team 1 Time   Team 2 Time
Grahame Clarkin 19:16 David Southwick 19:10
Kallum Mardon 14:25 Gordon Speirs 19:09
Evan Primmer 19:58 Dawn Tuffery 15:11
Oscar Emery 15:41 Nick Freke 15:40
Jason Hindrup 13:34 Andrew Wark 12:49
15km Totals 01:22:54   15km Totals 01:21:59
Team 3 Team 4
Fleur Marillier 19:17 Don 19:03
Connie Daws 16:41 Helen Hall-King 16:51
Garry Wilson 16:54 Trish Stockman 17:10
Gillbert MacDonald 18:18 Kovo MacDonald 14:11
Kent Hodgson 13:30 Joe Morgan 12:08
15km Totals 01:24:40 15km Totals 01:19
Team 5 Team 6
David Gunn 14:06 Ross Barnett 15:06
Colin King 16:11 Kevin Knowles 14:02
Marc Scott 13:16 Terry Hannett 26:25
Fiona Barnett 19:30 Craig Pebbles 19:22
Maureen Leonard 16:42 Mathijs Wetzels 21:25  (4.5km)
15km Totals 01:19:45   15km Totals 1:36:20