News & Updates

7 September 2023 • Out of Stadia

Balchin guns for Road Champs treble

Dan Balchin (number 011) in action at the 2023 New Zealand Cross Country Championships will be among the favourites for the senior men’s title at the 2023 New Zealand Road Championships in Palmerston North.

Daniel Balchin will target a third men’s senior title at the 2023 New Zealand Road Championships at Massey University Campus in Palmerston North on Sunday.

Balchin, who has a 10km best of 29:25, won the title in 2016 and 2017 and last year at the championship in Upper Hutt took bronze in 31:09.

The 10km race should develop into a battle between Balchin, Ronan Lee, who has a time of 31:37 to his credit, and the first three in the Manawatu Wanganui championship – Isaac Murphy, Andre Le Pine-Day and George Varney. Callum Stewart and Nathan Tse, second and third in the Wellington Championship, both sub-32-minute performers, are entered along with Joel Carman and Tom Strawbridge.

Sarah Drought, the 2012 champion and current national half marathon champion who has a best 10km of 33:36, looks like the one to beat for the senior women’s 10k crown. Drought was second last year to Hannah Miller and snared bronze at the New Zealand Cross Country Championship in Taupo in late July. Four runners all ran personal bests to win their local championship, Katrina Andrew with 35:20 in Auckland, Kerry White with 36:57 in Cambridge, and Esther George with 35:32 in Wellington and Amanda Waldron with 38:36 in Hastings.

Sally Gibbs, who set a New Zealand masters 60-64 record of 39:12 in finishing third in the Manawatu Wanganui championship behind Amara Rae and Tessa Webb, has entered the senior women and master women 5km races.

Also chasing a podium placing will be Sophie Hicks, who ran 36:16 on the Gold Coast in July, Jessie Speedy third in the Waikato Championships in 37:48, Emma Perron second in Wellington champs in 35:47, Sarah Gardner second in Waikato (36:38) and Sarah Murphy (38:41).

Eliza Squire, the Wellington U20 champion will be out to add the national U20 5km title. Aiming for a high placing will be Charlotte Brown, second in the Auckland championship and Poppy Martin the national junior women road mile champion in 5:07. Sophie Robb will be defending the U18 5km title. Feilding Moa runners Hayley Cornwall and Courtney Fitzgibbon, who had a great battle in the Manawatu Wanganui championships at Manfield Park, will be formidable. Jodie Nash second last year is back along with Zara Pomfret third in the Auckland championship in 18:15. Scarlett Robb will defend the U16 4km title against Imogen Barlow second in both the road last year and the recent cross country championships and Denika Clooney second in the Auckland championship in 14:52.

Benjamin Rickerby will be looking to go one better than his second placing last year in the men’s U20 8km, while Josh Jordan U18 champion last year will also be chasing the U20 crown. Local Nelson Doolan third last year, along with the Waikato champion Joseph Morgan, Auckland champion Charles Buchanan, national junior steeplechase champion Toby Tasker, Pai Wynyard, William Larkin, Lorcan Rabbitte – second to Jordan in the Wellington championship – and Azrael Cabusao make for an interesting race.

Ben Oxford U16 cross country champion will foot it with the 2022 U16 road champion Jack Erikson in the U18 6km. Waikato Bay of Plenty are well represented with national junior one mile road champion in 4:26.2 Elliott Pugh, George Wyllie and Finnley Oliver. The first three in the Wellington championship Max Poland, Max Doherty and Connor Kemp are down to race. Local Feilding Moa runner Alec Ball, third U16 last year will compete.

Corban Holmes will be the one to watch in the U16 4km.

The master women 5km should be dominated by Sally Gibbs, Mel Brandon and Fiona Crombie who won the national senior women’s title in 2009. Nick Moore, Daniel Clendon, Brian Garmonsway, Brett Tingay and Dwight Grieve, who won the Southland championship outright in 33:09, are the leading master men entered. A runner of note entered in the master men is 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games marathoner Derek Froude, now living in Tampa Florida, who is looking to run around 40 minutes in the 60-64 grade.

Laura Langley will be defending the senior women 20km race walking crown. Lucas Martin will be up against Jonah Cropp and Toby O’Rorke in his defence of the U20 10km race walking title. Yandri Fourie will have her sights set on the U18 5km walking title, while Sinead O’Sullivan should retain the U16 5km title. Morgan Day likewise will be racing in the U14 girls 3km race walk keen to repeat last year’s victory.

A total of 352 entries have been received representing 56 clubs.

The championships start with the race walks at 8am. Running starts at 10am with the senior women’s 10km at 1.50pm and the senior men’s 10km at 2.40pm. The timetable concludes with the boys and girls U14 3km at 3.20pm.  

New Zealand Road Championships entries go here

New Zealand Road Championships running results go here

New Zealand Road Championships race walking results go here

By Murray McKinnon