News & Updates

12 October 2022 • Road

2022 New Zealand Half Marathon Championships preview

(Photo: Michael Dawson / Alisha Lovrich)

Hannah Miller will be out to complete the trifecta of road titles this year when she competes in the New Zealand half marathon championship in Cambridge on Sunday.

The 24 year old from Wellington Scottish won the national women’s marathon title in 2:37:31 at the Reboot event in Christchurch in May and last month in Upper Hutt was a clear winner of the 10km road title in 35:39.

Miller has a best half marathon time of 1:12:41 set in Houston in January.

Challenges for the title will come from experienced road runners, 45 year old Mel Aitken and 59 year old Sally Gibbs and newcomer to the 21.1km distance Katherine Camp.

Aitken is the 2017 Oceania half marathon champion and has a best of 1:18:11 in Wanaka in May. Gibbs won the title in 2014 the same year that she also collected the full marathon title. She has a silver medal from 2011 and a bronze from 2019 as well. The former Tauranga and now Wanganui runner has a best time of 1:17:03 from Christchurch in 2013 and she holds the New Zealand masters 55-59 record of 1:24:41 which she set in the Selwyn event in Lincoln in June. Camp three times national 800m champion and 1500m title winner in 2019 tackled the half marathon for the first time while training in Canada and clocked an impressive 1:18:32 in Toronto in May. Also in with a chance of a medal is the recent national mountain running champion Sarah Douglas who has a best half of 1:23:31 in Christchurch in 2018.

Oska Baynes (31) is the defending champion for the senior men’s title having won in Dunedin in 2019. The championship was not held in 2020 or last year due to Covid-19.

The title also went Baynes way in 2012 in Palmerston North and in 2016 in Christchurch. After finishing runner up in both the marathon and 10km championships Baynes will be keen to see the year out with a gold medal.

Mark Boyce fresh from helping Takapuna win the national masters road relay title should account well over the roads of Cambridge. He won the Huntly half in 2021 in his best time of 1:10:50 and is a double winner of the Millwater half marathon. Simon Mace masters 45-49 grade national 10km road champion in 32:30 has a best half of 1:11:59 from the 2020 Kerikeri event. Bert Prendergast has a similar time of 1:11:19 from 2020 while Paul Crowhurst (43) ran 1:10:44 in 2010 and has a recent performance of 1:14:14 in the Auckland waterfront half in April. Lake City runner Will O’Connor should improve on his time of 1:13:20 run in Wellington in June. Steeplechase exponent Michael Sutton (28) will debut over the 21.1km, as will Waikato Bay of Plenty junior road champion Ben Hennessy.

The event is based at the Cambridge High School and starts at 9.30am.