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Tuesday July 21st, 2009

Canterbury Cross Country Championships - Saturday 18th July 2009
Canterbury Champs

16 Olympic runners turned up for the 2009 Canterbury Cross Country Champs on a day that turned out to be a sunny cracker despite the foggy start. The course was a test run for the Nationals due to be run here on August 1st. It was an interesting comparison to the course we ran for our Club Champs 3 weeks ago at Halswell Quarry, having a less steep hill but more of a longer run up a gradual hill. Comments from finishers confirmed that it was a tough course. My observations as chief photographer confirm that. Hats off to all our Club members who fronted up with their spikes. The weather in the next two weeks will determine how slushy the bottom creek turns out to be for the nationals.

Our over 50 runners fared well. Peter Larkin continued his dominance of the age group and the field, coming in first in a time of 30.58 and leading Ron McTaggert, Clive Kitchingman and Alec Hobbs in the first 10, to take the Teams title. Bill Stevens was first O65. Doug Dunn, Alec Hobbs, Greg Harney, Stu Taylor, Murray Smith and Peter Coughlan all ran hard to the credit of the Club.

Judith Taylor led the Masters Women to 2nd Team overall by being 7th overall and 1st in her age group. She was supported by Dianne Davis, Debbie Wilson and Heather North to be 2nd Team. Ronalda and Tessa were not far behind.

This is a great spectators course, so be sure to come out on August 1st and cheer on the locals. Results


Monday July 6th, 2009

Club Cross Country Championships - Saturday 27th June
Margaret's Report:

Club Champs

Solstice Update

It did not take the report in Saturday's Press that we had enjoyed a mere 11 hours of sunshine in the last 2 weeks to convince me that this has been a challenging winter to be a runner, with slush, mud and gloom the order of the training day. So our annual Cross Country Champs, held in conjunction with the Port Hills Club on Saturday 28th June at the Quarry, presented us with the usual Course Design by Committee Challenge. (Thanks to the Olympic Committee members who turned up at 12:30 to help with this.) I think we made a good fist of the 2k Course and the reports from those brave souls who completed the 3 laps for women and the 4 laps for men were that it was a fair course with a mix of hill, flat and muddy bits. It will be interesting to see how different the courses will be for the Canterbury Champs in several weeks and the Nationals on the same Course in August. It was a course that required spikes. There were some small creeks and some muddy turns where people slipped and fell. I had reports that the steep hill became increasingly challenging as the race wore on, so those of you planning on running the Canterbury Champs may need to sharpen your spikes. It was one of the few fine afternoons we have enjoyed in the last month and once again it was enhanced by sharing the race with the Port Hills Club.


Senior Women - 6km: 1 Ruth Love-Smith 23:32

Masters Women - 6km: 1 Dianne Davis 27:27; 2 Ronalda Reid 28:15; 3 Pam Hogarth 29:07; 4 Tessa Holland 30:27.

Masters Men - 10km: 1 Peter Larkin 30:39; 2 David Macdonald 30:58; 3 Clive Kitchingman 31:18; 4 Alex Hobbs 31:47; 5 Ian Faulkner 31:49; 6 Greg Harney 34:31; 7 Stewart Taylor 35:31; 8 Doug Dunn 36:10; 9 Bill Stevens 37:31; 10 Ron Stevens 38:19; 11 Murray Smith 39:49; 12 John Kerrison 41:51.

Sunday May 24th, 2009

Jane Paterson Cross Country
Margaret's Report

The 2009 Jane Paterson Races took place on a gloriously warm afternoon at Rawhiti Domain over a testing little 2k loop course. Red singlets were much in evidence. Ruth Love-Smith made a welcome return to Cross-Country running and claimed 6th place in the Senior women's race. Mike Frost was our first Senior man at 9th.

Our Masters Women once again showed class by taking out the Teams event. Judith led the charge, coming in at 5th, ably supported by Heather, Katherine and Debbie all in the top 14. Ronalda, Tessa and Linda were not far behind and show great promise for improvement.

Carsten Joergensen claimed 3rd place in the Masters men race. The over 50s men lived up to the example set by the women and also took out first place in the Teams event. Dave MacDonald took first place with a strong run. Spectator interest was focused on the race between Chris and Clive, one of the benefits of a loop course. They had an engrossing race, changing places regularly. This time, Chris came in a mere 3 seconds ahead of Clive to claim 6th place. Greg Harney's 11th place gave the Team the victory. But it isn't just about placings. From my perspective, every Cross Country event completed is a victory against self and the urge to just sit down instead of plowing on up that little sand hill that was cranked up several degrees since the last lap. So I salute everyone who started last Saturday. You showed strength. I was hiding behind the camera.

runners competing in Jane Paterson

Sunday May 3rd, 2009

Record Breaking Performance

New Balance Tai Tapu 15km Road Race and 10km Social Walk Race Report
Matt Smith
Matt Smith of the University of Canterbury club ran a storming race in perfect conditions to win the New Balance Tai Tapu 15k Road Race for the second year in a row, and break Phil Costley's 7-year-old race record as well as the 45min barrier with an impressive time of 44:45. In a repeat of last year's event, Smith did not have the race all his own way, with club mate Rowan Hooper just 8 seconds behind and also under 45 minutes and the old record. The pair blazed through the 10k mark together in 30:02 and had an epic battle in the last 5k (14:43 and 14:51). Both of those guys look in top shape to defend their respective titles in the SBS Half and Full Marathons in 4 weeks time. There was also top quality running by Mark Bailey and Matt Ingram for 3rd and 4th, both in outstanding times under 47 minutes.

Nicki McFadzien, also of University of Canterbury, put in a very strong performance to win the womens race in 56:00, almost 3 minutes ahead of North Canterbury's Tracy Crossley.

Further back in the field, the two superheroes - The Flash and Spiderman - had a close battle for early bragging rights in their lead-up for the world record attempt at the SBS Marathon. The Flash prevailed in 1:00:22 to Spiderman's 1:00:49, and they will be amongst 10 superheroes attempting to break the Guinness World Record of 2:49:50 for the full marathon on May 31, part of a charity fundraiser for the Life Education Trust. For more information go to fundraiseonline and search for "superhero" in the Sponsor a Friend section.

Top 6 results

1st Nicki McFadzien 56:00 W17
2nd Tracey Crossley 58:56
3rd Sinead Shearing 1:03:04
4th Anna Shaw 1:03:38
5th Meg Christie 1:04:37 (first (40-49)
6th Lisa Mould 1:04:41

1st Matt Smith 44:45
2nd Rowan Hooper 44:53
3rd Mark Bailey 46:35
4th Matt Ingram 46:48
5th Carsten Joergensen 49:27
6th Luke Armstrong 49:34
1st Chris Jordan 52:55

Thanks and well done to everyone who entered, and to our sponsors New Balance, SBS Bank, EDP Processing, House of Travel Christchurch City, Nesport and SportsMed.
Full Results and Photos

15k race start

Monday January 26th, 2009

Ron's Records

Ron StevensSaturday was a sizzler at QEII and that wasn't just because of the temperature. Spurred on by his 'missed by a whisker' 800 run the week before, Ron Stevens scorched down the home straight and claimed the NZ over 75 1500m record by 3 seconds. Ron ran 5:54 and some milliseconds, according to the buzz at the finish line, although the official timing may be minutely different. Congratulations, Ron.

His was not the only red singlet in view. Our club was well represented, with Tony, Clive, Peters L and C, Heather, Anne and myself all turning up to race.

I hope to see some red singlets tomorrow night at the 5k in Hagley Park. Don't forget the Pier to Pier series which is coming up soon and has been moved to a Sunday morning.


You can read a full interview with Ron given last year here.