Report by Garry Wilson
Saturday saw the 51st running of the Tauranga Cross Country. Conditions were mild, firm and dry. Even the dreaded ‘hill’ could be attacked without spikes. Although I did my very best to make it look much harder than it was.
This is an event that at its peak attracted large numbers and quality fields. First run, and won in 1971 by Olympian Mike Ryan, the list of Male winners is a veritable who’s who of Waikato Bay of Plenty Distance runners. From Jack Foster and Paul Ballinger, through to Ben Ruthe and Aaron Pulford. There are also a fair number of Hawks also, with ‘older’ names such as Alan Stock and Euan Robertson alongside more recent winners including John Crane and Jai Davies-Campbell. (Note: John won in 1999 & 2015. An incredible 16 years between victories.
To this list of Champions, we can add the name of Ben Bidois. Ben ran a controlled race to gradually draw away from the field eventually winning comfortably by just under a minute in 27.51. Ben looks in great form for upcoming races.
We can also claim the Women’s Champion, with current NZ Cross Country title holder Kerry White, having to work harder for her win, over her slightly younger rivals. Kerry held on to win by 5 seconds in 15.41.
There were some good results by Hawks athletes in the earlier races:
Jack and Max Stirling 2nd and 3rd in the U14 Boys.
Nisha Moorfield and Carenza Elley 3rd and 4th in the U16 Girls.
Renee Carey and Letizia Hay 3rd and 4th in the W18
Alicia O’Conner 2nd in the W20
Claire Liang 4th in the U10 Girls
Louie Endres 2nd in the M18 (beaten by one second)
Grahame Clarkin 2nd MM65+
Apologies for not listing everyone, including the doddery old men in the Masters section.
I look forward to the rest of the Cross Country season, culminating in the NZ Champs in Taupo. Should be some great racing.
You can also check out the full results here