News & Updates

19 August 2022 • Mountain Running

Andy plots latest mountain running assault

Andy Good boasts a proud record at the NZ Mountain Running Championships as a two-time former medallist.

Competing at the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships on Saturday (20 August) may seem slightly unorthodox preparation for competing on the super flat and fast Berlin Marathon course next month – but Andy Good would not miss lining up at Deer Park Heights in Queenstown for the world.

The 35-year-old University of Canterbury AC athlete boasts a proud record at the national mountain running championships having snared gold in Wellington in 2019 and a silver medal at last year’s edition at Coronet Park.

A 2019 World Mountain Running Championship representative too, Andy relishes the challenge of running on the steep gradients and adds: “The New Zealand Mountain Running Champs is always an important event for me, I love mountain running and it is the reason why I came into the athletics scene.

“This year’s event is an interesting one. I feel a few more runners have come out of the woodwork to compete in the uphill only event this year (in which the runners will climb more than 500m of elevation for the 8.6km climb). It sounds funny to say, but it probably suits road runners more than traditional trail and mountain athletes because athletes with a good engine are likely to do well as opposed to athletes with more technical, trail skills who are likely to excel more on the downhill sections (every year the New Zealand Mountain Running Champs switches between an uphill only event followed by an uphill/downhill competition).

“This year we have more guys capable of running a 30-minute 10km than we’ve had for some time, which is great because it means the event will get more attention.”

Among some of Andy’s main rivals include world orienteering champion Tim Robertson, who last month won bronze at the New Zealand Cross Country Championships in Taupo, and Reboot Marathon victor Daniel Balchin, who smashed out a 2:15:55 time in Christchurch in May.

Andy too scalped three minutes from his marathon personal best at Reboot to win New Zealand Marathon bronze in 2:22:39 and he hopes to use the NZ Mountain Running Championships as preparation for the Berlin Marathon on 25 September – commonly regarded as the world’s fastest marathon.

So how did the opportunity come about to race in the same event as world marathon record-holder and Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge?

“I wouldn’t normally try and cram in two marathons in a year, but it just so happens that my partner, Sarah, is German and we have a planned a trip over to Germany next month. As an athlete travelling I always see racing opportunities. Sarah got in touch with the Berlin Marathon race director, and he managed to put me in the elite field.

“Like I said, I didn’t plan to run another marathon but when it falls on your lap, you have to give it a go.”

While he is a little uncertain as to his current shape, he has prepared well for the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships with two or three training runs per week on the Port Hills and he is looking forward to racing on Saturday – where he harbours some big ambitions.

“I’d be lying if I said I don’t want to go there and win the race,” adds Andy, who is coached by Matt Ingram. “I’ll definitely give it everything I can to stand on the podium.

“At the same time, I’ll just try and run as hard as I can and no matter what happens it will be good training. Given that next year’s World Mountain Running champs are in Austria, and given my links to nearby Germany, I would love to get the opportunity to compete there.”

Working full-time as an athletics coach – where he guides around 30 people of varying standards – the race on Saturday has the added bonus of being run in some of the most stunning scenery imaginable at Deer Park Heights, so does the Christchurch-based runner have time to appreciate the view?

“Probably when I get to the top,” he says with a laugh. “I think before then it will just be one foot in front of the other and go as hard as I can.”

By Steve Landells

Results here

***If the weather does take a turn for the worse on Saturday, there is a chance all three races could start at 10am. With this in mind, could all runners collect their race numbers by 9.30am and be ready for the race briefing at 9.45am. A final call on start times will be made at 9am on Saturday.