Monday, March 23, 2009

Belgrove 18km Race

Records tumble during Belgrove event
The Nelson Mail Last updated 13:49 23/03/2009 Share Print Text Size Relevant offersThe Tasman Masters fifth Belgrove 18km road run on Sunday not only had a record number of entrants but also resulted in three race records being broken.

In winning the men's race in 1hr 4min 51sec, Simon Mardon broke his own record set two years ago by 74 seconds.

He had a good tussle with Brian Kemp before eventually managing to gradually pull away over the last 7km to win by 40 seconds. Kemp, who is currently enjoying his best form ever, also went under the previous best time.

Brent Stebbings had a good run to take third place overall in 1hr 8min 35sec.

Fourth and fifth placings were taken by two M40 runners, Neil Cotton (1hr 10min 13sec) and Steve Flaus (1hr 10min 18sec), who are both in serious training for the Rotorua marathon in six weeks time.

Sixth overall and the first M50 runner was Murray Hart in 1hr 10min 53sec, who also won the Tasman Masters trophy for the highest age graded percentage with 79.51 percent.

The second record was broken by Paula Canning in winning the women's race and finishing 11th overall. Her time of 1hr 13min 32sec broke her own record set in 2006 by 3min 39sec.

Canning's record continues her good form as evidenced by her win last month in the Buller marathon. Second place went to the improving Nicola Mercer in 1hr 22min 24sec.

The third woman was Collette Read in 1hr 24min 21sec who achieved an impressive improvement of 10min 47sec on last year's time.

In the 18km walk, Nyle Sunderland broke the women's record set by Wendy Healey in 2005 by 3min 36sec in recording a time of 1hr 55min 7sec. Her time was also an impressive improvement of 7min 56sec over her time last year.

Stephen Farquhar (1hr 44min 13sec) repeated his performance of last year in taking line honours in the 18km walk. Bevan Cook claimed third place, four seconds over the two hour mark.

Craig and Maren Harford won the 18km relay run in 1hr 26min 54sec to head off Peter Hague and Shane Sunderland in 1hr 33min 55sec.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 2, NZ Masters in Tauranga 2009

Photo of our team - Gary Holtz, Me, Peter Hauge, Stephen Farquhar & Yvonne Shaw

2.30am Sunday morning I awake with cold sweats and vomiting…..”oh Joy” I think to my self. I lay awake until its time to get up trying hard not to be sick again. After talking with coach it is decided that I try and start the race and just get around the judges to finish. Today is the 10km and one that I had hoped to do my best in. We all get up and put on our damp racing gear from Friday….ughh…..and head for the 2km walkway. Yvonne takes one look at me and teases me that even when I tell her I am sick she can still never beat me and that I will prob do a record time…….. I weakly laugh and start to dread the start.

8am we are lined up ready to go, gun goes off and away they all go. Stephen to the front, Pete, Yvonne, Gary and then little ol me. There were 6 judges scattered around the track today, so you really have to be watchful and concentrate all the time. By the 2nd lap round I saw Yvonne pass pete and as I too got close enough I also passed Pete….he was looking greener than me!!! Both of us must have eaten something that didn’t agree with our tummy’s. I was not enjoying this race on little bit. I was mentally struggling with the fact that Yvonne was getting further and further away from me and the fact that I was going to be ill at any moment was not helping either.

I managed to make it to the 5km mark before I had to succumb to the queasiness in my tummy and took the opportunity to be ill on the grassy corner out of everyone’s view. Pete by this stage had got his second wind and was away again. With Yvonne in his sights he set out after her and did manage to catch her in the final few laps but sadly for Pete on the last lap as he went over the speed bump a judge was watching and it was decided he had a bent knee and he was disqualified. Which was such a shame as he had picked up and was making good time.

Yvonne cleared the 10km with no marks on the DQ board and won her age group with a time of 1 hour 2 mins. I crossed the line with 1 mark on the DQ board (you can have 3 then you are disqualified) I won my age group with a time of 1 hour 4 mins. Glad to have finished I crawled off to the side and lay on the cold grass and proceed to feel like I was going to die!!! It was the worst I have ever felt during a race.

Photo is of me slowly coming back to life and speaking with Stephen (my coach)

After the race we zipped back to the motel, through all the gear into the rental and it was announced that I was driving back home while the guys were going to sit in the back and enjoy all the wineries on the way home……………..all 3 of them. Needless to say that by the time we pulled up at the airport, the guys were in a “great” mood and poured them selves out of the car and into the airport. Luck it was a gentle flight back home.

All in all, we had a fantastic trip away with most of us winning two gold medals and being NZ champs in our age groups. Stephen and I have qualified and been invited to enter the NZ Open Track & Field at the end of March…so what this space.

Day 1, NZ Masters Champs in Tauranga

Day 1, NZ Masters Champs in Tauranga

Friday 6th March 2009 brought about the start of the NZ Masters Champs. We had decided to fly up to Auckland and then drive to Tauranga… thinking it’s only an hour drive – turned out to be more like 3!! The flight up was bumpy and I got my ears talked off by a wee 6 year old that sat beside me. After a 2 km walk to find the Juicy Rental cars – we bundled into the wee car and were off…………in the wrong direction and almost ended up in Auckland city!! Being with two men… was up to me to get directions and head us in the reverse direction and on our way.

We arrive in Tauranga 3 hours later and it is pouring with rain. The track is just a wash with water and did not look that inviting for walking…back stroke or freestyle more like. The only positive thing was that it was very muggy and humid with no wind. After a wee huddle amongst our wee team it was decided that personnel bests were not going to be broken in these conditions and that to just get the race over and done with was good enough. We braved the rain and proceeded to warm up and get ready for our first race of the weekend – 3000m track walk.

At the gun, Stephen leapt out to a front spot, closely followed by Pete. I set off after them and quickly passed the two walkers between us. I quickly set into a comfortable pace and was surprised to hear as I went past the time keeper that I had done a 2.11 first lap and that I was feeling great. This continued through the next 5 laps and as I came round on the last lap and heard my time I knew that if I pushed now it would be a personal best……and it was.

I improved my 3000m track time by 9 secs…………17:26 was my official time. Nelson also bagged 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th with 3 of us getting personal bests and 4 getting GOLD medals to boot. Stephen (our coach) was just thrilled.

Saturday was our day off, so we travelled back up the road to Wahi to met up with Cath. While exploring Wahi we discovered that up behind the old pump house was a huge huge hole!!!! Infact, it’s the largest open cast gold mine in the Southern Hemisphere. Most impressive. We all drove back to the motel and preceded to park up for the night, it was raining again so telly was put on so the guys could watch rugby. We were all watching the lightening out side when a close clap of thunder struck…….blew the power for the whole of Tauranga and Rotorua for 2 hours. I have never heard a clap of thunder like that before.