The popular North Island Cross Country was a happy racing ground for Hawks distance runners on Saturday. Run at Spa Thermal Park since 1977 by the Taupo Harrier Club this well-established event is run each year on the same course which enables runners to compare their times from previous years. A feature of this 2014 event was the resounding success of many Hawk entrants. I was proud to be a Hawk at Taupo and witness 7 wins by club athletes. Many of these were end to end dominant wins and caused much comment. The form shown here augers well for the national event to be held in Christchurch in August.
Charli Miller started the day with a win in the G12 2000 in 7.32 with Lucy Farrell in 12th with 8.28. The B14’s raced over 3000 and although Isaiah Priddey led all the way Sam Montgomerie tracked him throughout and ran a close second just 2 seconds back. It was a great sight to see two Hawks singlets dominate.
John Crane who turned 50 in March ran his first open race in the new grade and after a cautious first lap then cleared out and won by 40 seconds with a 22.07 clocking for 6kms. Kevin Knowles M55 was 5th in 24.33. Steve Rees-Jones showed fine form in the Masters 35-39 race and set such a fast pace that he won by 73 seconds. His 20.18 for 6km was a huge run while Kent Hodgson won the M45 grade with 21.58. Maureen Leonard in the Master Women 50 was second in 22.26 for 5km
The M20 race over 5km was another Jacob Priddey win by 10 seconds after running with the leaders for the first lap Jacob cleared out for a good win with Connor Gyde in 10th spot with 17.58. In the senior women Camille Buscomb had a brilliant win with 17.43 over 5km. Camille who openly admits to not liking cross country racing went to the front from the gun and kept the pressure on to win by 31 seconds. Emily Roughan was 9th with 19.27. Tim Stewart ran a cautious first half in the senior men’s 9kms and then poured on the pace on the last lap to gain places and finish 6th in 30.16. Grace Ritchie was 5th in W16 and Emerson Deverell was 13th while Jack Ewing ran a close 4th in the M18 race.
Many consider the Taupo course among the best in NZ and the Taupo Club is presenting a proposal to the NZSS Executive to hold the national schools event there in 2016. There is also a counter proposal from Rotorua to hold the event there in 2016 with a decision to be made later this year. John Tylden has his finger on the pulse and is tracking both proposals. Come what may the event will be held in our centre.
Report by Don Willoughby