News & Updates

12 October 2022 • Mountain Running

2022 New Zealand Trail Running Championships preview

Vajin Armstrong and Konoka Azumi (Photo: Crater Rim Ultra / Anthony Chenot - Sado City Sport Association)

Experienced trail running campaigner Vajin Armstrong will go head to head with Sam McCutcheon for the national 53km trail title at the Crater Rim Ultra event in Christchurch on Sunday.

Armstrong who ran a creditable 2:31:44 marathon in the Christchurch Reboot national championship in May won the trail title in 2019 running 5:01:23 for the 53km. The 42 year old was third in the last event at the Crater Rim in 4:57:33. Covid-19 prevented the event from taking place last year.

Armstrong has also marathon wins in the Buller Gorge and Southland events to his credit.

McCutcheon a newcomer to the longer distance won the Wellington marathon in June in 2:30:09 and was fourth in the Wellington championship in 32:31 and eleventh in a similar time in the New Zealand championship over 10km.

Ready for a bold showing over the demanding course will be accomplished master runner Dwight Grieve of Fiordland.

Katie Smith second in 2020 and Rose Pearson second in 2019 will battle it out for the women’s honours.

Wayne Botha of Takapuna is the front runner for the inaugural New Zealand long distance trail running title over 83km. A regular ultra-distance campaigner both nationally and internationally, Botha was the 2018 New Zealand 100km champion. Also aiming for a podium placing are Hayden Zervos and Simon Angus.

Konoka Azumi of Owairaka should win the women’s title. The former triathlete won the 100km South Island Ultra-marathon in May in 8:24:03.

The 83km starts from Hansen Park Opawa at 5am and the 53km from Diamond Harbour at 7.15am with both events finishing at Hansen Park.