Wellington Scottish Harriers won the men’s title at the New Zealand Road Running championships with a dominating win on the 76.6 km course from Christchurch to Akaroa.
National mountain running champion Dougal Thorburn got the Scottish team off to a perfect start on the tough first lap, up and over the Sign of the Kiwi, handing the second runner Tim Hodge a 45 second lead and from then on the Wellington club were never headed, finishing with a 4m 12s lead over Wesley from Auckland.
Other good runs for Scottish came from Ben Ashkettle, Hiro Tanimoto and Stephen Day, while Malcolm Hicks stood out for Wesley.
Defending champions Auckland City Athletics briefly challenged after a good run by Jono Jackson on lap 3 but could not maintain the pressure and faded before making a strong comeback, Mike Banks and Matt Baxter claiming the fastest last two laps to place the Aucklanders in third, 1m 51s behind Wesley.
The women’s title was up in the air in the early laps, with defending champions North Harbour Bays taking the lead and holding that for two laps until world championships 800m semi-finalist, Angie Petty took Canterbury University to the lead from Wellington Harrier Athletic and Bays.
The Canterbury team held the leading position with strong performances from NZ reps Rosa Flanagan and Gaby Gray. Bays fought back with solid runs from Lydia O’Donnell and Annika Pfitzinger to claim second, just over six minutes behind University and eight minutes ahead of Wellington.
The junior men’s 40.7 km race was won by defending champions Christchurch Avon, third after the first lap, and working through to the lead after the third lap, a lead they never relinquished, thanks to strong runs by Cameron Avery and Angus Bailey. Wellington Harrier Athletic and Auckland City Athletic filled the minor placings.
Athletics Nelson fought back from four minutes down in the middle stages to win the junior women’s race with fastest lap times by their last 3 runners to regain the title they last won in 2011. Auckland City and University of Canterbury took out the minor placings.
Wellington Scottish took both the Men’s and women’s masters races while Wellington Harrier Athletic and Nelson were winners of the Men’s 50+ and 60+ titles.
Wellington Scottish were clear winners of the Top Club award, courtesy of their three titles, while Wellington Harrier Athletics and Auckland City filled the minor placings.
Senior Men: 1 Wellington Scottish 4:09:1, 2 Wesley 4:13:22, 3 Auckland City Athletics 4:15:13.
Senior Women: 1 Canterbury University 5:01:32, 2 North Harbour Bays 5:07:50, 3 Wellington Harrier Athletic 5:15:56.
Junior Men: 1 Christchurch Avon 2:14:02, 2 Wellington Harrier Athletic 2:17:10, 3 Auckland City Athletics 2:17:28.
Junior Women: 1 Athletics Nelson 2:46:00, 2 Auckland City Athletics 2:47:09, 3 Canterbury University 2:51:30.
Masters Men: 1 Wellington Scottish 4:39:58, 2 Papanui Toc H 4:45:41, 3 Hamilton City Hawks 4:52:44.
Masters Women: 1 Wellington Scottish 5:31:12,2 Hamilton City Hawks 5:48:43, 3 Lake City Athletics 5:59:46.
Masters Men 50+: 1 Wellington Harrier Athletic 4:55:01.
Masters Men 60+: 1 Athletics Nelson 2:51:08.