News & Updates

4 September 2022 • Road

Staufenberg and Miller grab road titles

Senior Women podium: Hannah Miller (centre), Sarah Drought (right), Deborah Lynch (left). Senior Men podium: Janus Staufenberg (centre), Oska Baynes (right), Daniel Balchin (left).

Leading triathlete Janus Staufenberg of Otago had the sprint finish that counted in taking out the senior men’s 10km title at the 2022 New Zealand Road Championships by one second in 31:03.

Going into the final circuit of the wind swept course around the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt the race was down to Staufenberg and the Canterbury pair of Oska Baynes and Daniel Balchin.

Into the final straight to the finish Staufenberg rallied and sneaked in for the gold medal. His winning time was 31:03.

Taking out his first national running title Staufenberg was stoked.

“It’s windy out there, and it was just about playing smart and just trying to tuck in where I could, but I didn’t want to drop back too far as there are plenty of corners and you can get too strung out on those corners,” he said.

“The last lap I still felt good and put in a couple of surges throughout and down the back straight into the wind just kept pushing, pushing, and then a nice sprint finish with Oska at the end.”

His next competition is a number of triathlon races he has lined up in Asia.

Hannah Miller had no trouble adding the senior women’s national 10km title to the New Zealand marathon crown she snared in May. Miller went head-to-head with Sarah Drought over the first half of the race before putting the hammer down on the penultimate lap.

It was an all Wellington finish with Miller winning in 35:40 from Drought 36:12 and Deborah Lynch third in 36:28.

Miller said into the wind it was her endurance training that got her there.

“I just trusted my endurance training as I have not done any speed work for a 10k, so it was a bit silly to lead into the wind on the first two laps. But I felt comfortable so I just wound it up. It was not a time we were after today but always an honour to win a national champs,” she said.

Miller will now look to make it a road treble when she tackles the half marathon championship next month.

Laura Langley collected her second 20km national road walking title in 1:49:29.

Langley was joined by Courtney Ruske from the start but was soon well out on her own battling the elements, going through the first 10km in 52:36.

Courtney, who was two minutes behind at the half way mark, pulled out of the race shortly after.

Langley said that she felt really well prepared.

“The conditions were quite tough with the wind and the course is a little bit more hilly than what I’d like so it was a little bit tough and challenging so we weren’t expecting fast times, but it was still my second fastest 20km, about 40 seconds off my PB, so I’m quite happy about that.”

Langley explained that she is now targeting the 35km distance.

“My next race is over 35km in the American champs in Santiago and I hope to qualify for the next World Championships in Hungary.

Although now based in Canterbury, Langley is still coached by Graeme Jones from Hawkes Bay.

Ruske explained that she was carrying an injury going into the race.

“I had a hamstring tear diagnosed a month out so it was a bit niggly and I could feel it every lap. It was a bit undulating at points so unfortunately it was not my day. I was lucky just to line up.

“I look forward to a big break now,” she said.

Barry Magee coached Sally Gibbs (59) again dominated the master women 5km, winning outright by 12 seconds over Wellington’s Mel Brandon in 18:18.

“It is always lovely to be running with the juniors, it’s so nice as I do appreciate their pacing. The wind was definitely the most challenging factor today,” she said.

“I really like encouraging other masters to come out and have a go, we’re definitely the biggest fields here today and it makes a better race for that.”

On turning 60 in June next year, Gibbs said that it was her last year in the 55-59 age group, “so I’ll make the most of that first”.

Simon Mace in the 45-49 age group won the master men’s 10km outright in 32:31 from 35-39 age group Nick Horspool who recorded 32:54. Daniel Clendon was third in 33:03.

Mace, who was 30 seconds slower than his Auckland title victory, was delighted with the win.

“I’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s good to see it pay some dividends. The conditions were blustery but it was a good course,” he said.

‘I just made it a tactical thinking thing each lap and we shared the pace around and it worked out alright.”

Mace now looks forward to the New Zealand Half Marathon Championships in Cambridge on 16 October.

Joshua Gill won the U20 8km in 26:00 from mountain running champion Ben Rickerby.

Gill said the plan was to go about 5km in to put some pressure on and see who came with him. 

“Ben was with me. I just kept strong breathing and I went well,” he said.

Boh Ritchie at 15 years of age stepped up to the U20 5km, which she won with ease in 18:03 from Mackenzie Morgan and Amelia Green.

“I’m trying to qualify for the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst next February,” explained Ritchie at the finish.

“It was really cool to win the Australian schools cross country champs last week, it was such good experience.

“I was trying to head for a qualifying time today, but the conditions got its way, it was very windy, but it was good.

“So I just stayed strong and carried on my race plan as it was. My breathing sounded good compared with the others.

“I would like to thank my parents Sarah and Sam Ritchie, my coach Angela Russek and the whole of the St Peter’s School squad for helping me to get here today.”

Other winners were: U18 Joshua Jordan, U16 Jack Erikson, U14 Otto Church. U18 women Sophie Robb, U16 Scarlett Robb and U14 Zoe Hilton. Race walks; U20 Lucas Martin, U18 Jonah Cropp and Alana Mathews, U16 Richie Trathen and Sinead O’Sullivan, U14 Harrison Day and Morgan Day, master men Eric Kemsley and Catherine Uhlenberg.

Full results here.

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