News & Updates

7 June 2023 • Mountain Running

Captain Andy pursues World Mountain Championships redemption

Andy Good finished the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships in distress and will be seeking a much happier experience on his return to the event in Austria this week.

New Zealand Mountain Running champion Andy Good will be seeking redemption when he takes to the start line in the classic race on Saturday night (NZ time) at the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck, Austria.

Four years ago, in his last appearance at the global event – then known as the World Mountain Running Championships – in Argentina, the 36-year-old Christchurch based athletes sustained a hip fracture and crossed the line in agony back in 59th place.

“It was horrible,” he recalls of his 2019 race. “I had a hip injury going into that race and probably shouldn’t have run. I then exacerbated the injury during the race which turned out to be a stress fracture. The injury cost me four months out of running upon my return to NZ.

“After picking up the fracture mid-race I was then in survival mode. The New Zealand singlet is a powerful thing, so you never not want to finish the race, but it was demoralising not to be in the mix competitively.”

Four years on and Andy appears poised for a much show on the biggest stage. A comprehensive winner of the New Zealand Mountain Running title at Mt Maunganui in March – where he triumphed by more than a minute from Michael Sutton – he is all set to right the wrongs of 2019. 

Since Argentina, Andy has focused on a range if surfaces and distances. In 2021 he landed a New Zealand Mountain Running silver medal and last year he smashed his marathon PB to run 2:22:39 at the Reboot Marathon and claim a national marathon bronze.

Later in 2022 he finished fifth at the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships at Deer Park Heights in Queenstown while in heavy preparation for the Berlin Marathon. However, an untimely bout of Covid denied him the chance to compete in the German capital. 

“I had a rough time picking up Covid before my big event and it knocked my confidence,” said Andy, who is himself a full-time coach to more than 30 athletes.

However, a chat with his coach, Matt Ingram, on whether to prioritise the 2023 New Zealand Mountain Running Championships in March or the Christchurch Marathon the following month proved an inspired decision.

“I had to pick one or the other and I ultimately decided I’m going to have more fun training for the mountain running champs than the marathon,” said Andy, who serves as New Zealand men’s team captain for the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships. “We put in an eight-week block with heaps of specific hard hill climbs, running downhill with intent, lots of hill repeats, uphill tempos everything you would expect.”

With the Port Hills situated just 2km from home, Andy can unlock the perfect mountain running training environment with ease and he enjoyed a smooth preparation for Mt Maunganui and the 2023 New Zealand Mountain Running Championships.

In February he clinched victory in the Buller Gorge Half Marathon clocking 1:07:21 and followed this up with top spot in the Motatapu Miners Trail race before heading to the Mount full of confidence.

There he revelled in the four-lap race to claim an emphatic win and regain his national mountain running title he last won in 2019.

“The course was awesome I enjoyed the four climbs and four descents as it gave me a good opportunity to see where you were placed within the field,” he adds. “I had a good first half of the race and then knew for the last two laps I just needed to be solid and not do anything silly and get down the hills cleanly. It meant a lot to me to regain the national title.”

Last month Andy gave further evidence of his current shape by scalping 30 seconds from his official 10km PB with a 29:44 clocking for second at the Southern Lakes Half Marathon in Wanaka and he moves on to Innsbruck, Austria optimistic of a good showing.

Focusing on the 15km classic race (uphill and downhill) rather than also competing in the uphill only race to maximise his chances of a good performance, the University of Canterbury athlete is relishing the challenge.

“It looks a very runnable course which is probably good for the Kiwi athletes because we haven’t done a heap of technical training,” he adds. “I don’t think I can set a placing goal, I just hope to be as competitive as I can up to the last second. As national champion my goal is to be the top finishing Kiwi athlete.”

And redemption for 2019?

“(laughs) Absolutely. I just want to have a good experience. I can’t really remember too much of the 2019 (World Mountain Running) race. I was taken to the medical tent straight away and then on to hospital and put on morphine. I just want to have a much better experience that and enjoy competing alongside some top high profile athletes!.”

***Andy will be in action in the classic mountain race at 10pm on Saturday (10 June)

***For live results go here

***There will be a livestream of the event via the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships see more here  and via their Facebook page