Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NZ 50km Team Track Relay Champs

The Athletics Nelson race walking team confirmed their current national ranking when they comfortably won the bronze medal in the New Zealand 50km Team Track Relay Championships held at Sovereign Stadium in Auckland last Sunday. This follows their third placing in the NZ Team Road Relay Championship held in Wellington in May.

The event coincided with the 100th anniversary of New Zealand’s first Olympic medal. Harry Kerr, from Taranaki, won the bronze medal in the 3,500m track walk at the 1908 Olympic Games held in London. The other kiwi competitor in the race, Arthur Rowland, finished 5th.

Auckland A won the race from Taranaki A with a winning margin of 22 minutes setting a new race record of 4 hours 24 minutes. The Nelson team recorded a time of 5 hours 7 minutes with the Wellington team placed fourth with a time of 5.17.16. A total of seven teams completed the event which was held in warm and humid conditions on Auckland’s North Shore.

The first 10km leg was completed by Sharon McDonald in a time of 1.04.46 with Peter Hague finishing the second leg in 1.06.07. Yvonne Shaw finished her 10km leg in a personal best time of 1.02.30. Nyle Sunderland also recorded a personal best time of 1.00.54 in the fourth leg of the race. The final 10km was completed by Stephen Farquhar in a time of 52.53, only just short of his best time recorded in 1992.

“We were a little short of our target time of 5 hours but overall we are all very happy with our performance” says team coach and competitor Stephen Farquhar. “It was great for us to be invited to compete in this race and we certainly didn’t disgrace ourselves.

“A third placing is significant when put in context of our training facilities” says Farquhar. We all met at Trafalgar Park every night for the last 6 weeks and either headed off down the walkway towards Richmond or did 1km reps on the grass track in the dark complete with our head lights.”

“We regularly shared the park with the Makos. They were very accommodating and supportive”

The first three teams received an exact replica of Harry Kerr’s Olympic medal in addition to their respective NZ Championship medal. The first six teams to complete the 50km event also received a replica of Kerr’s original Olympic scroll recording details of the event and the team’s placing and time.

1 comment:

Glennis said...

You all did so well, PB's almost all around congratulations.Now do you have a real bronze medal?