News & Updates

14 December 2023 • Track and Field

Daikin Night of 5s - Preview

Action from the women’s 5000m at the 2022 Daikin Night of 5s. Credit: Alisha Lovrich

The traditional curtain raiser to the senior elite track and field season the 2023 edition of the Daikin Night of 5s promises to be one of the best yet. We take a look at what to expect at AUT Millennium, Auckland on Saturday (16 December).

Event background

First contested in 2011 the Daikin Night of 5s organised by Bays Athletics provides one of the highlights of the year for the New Zealand distance running community. The pre-Christmas meet under floodlights – with DJ tunes pumping and plentiful food trucks – generates a vibrant and unique atmosphere as athletes of varying standards pursue PB times over the 5000m distance.

Attracting a record-breaking 350 entries – including a whopping 55 for the women’s 5000m – expect the latest edition to be bigger and better than ever. Besides the marquee 5000m races, the Under Armour 5km Team Relays provide a real point of difference as teams of three to five participants try to complete the 12-and-a-half-lap distance in the quickest time.  

The programme also traditionally serves up some handy 100m events (both Para and able-bodied), some swift 800m and pole vault competitions.

Who will be competing?

The women’s 5000m has attracted a loaded field including the past two event winners – Laura Nagel (at the March 2022 edition) and Anneke Arlidge (at the December 2022 edition). Look out too for 2023 New Zealand mile champion Rebekah Greene – who boasts a PB of 15:56.79 and in the in-form New Zealand road mile champion Brigid Dennehy, who in the past month has set 1500m and 3000m PB’s. Recently minted New Zealand 10,000m champion Katherine Camp will also be expected to perform well and watch out for 40-year-old Lisa Cross, who set a 5000m lifetime best of 16:39.79 last month, and 2023 New Zealand Cross Country silver medallist Annika Pfitzinger.

The men’s 5000m is shaping up to be a top-class event headed by the defending Blincoe Cup champion Julian Oakley, who 12 months ago set a PB and race record time of 13:29.74. His training partner Hayden Wilde, the Olympic triathlon bronze medallist, will also be expected to be a major contender having finished third in this race in the delayed 2021 edition.

Also entered are New Zealand 5000m bronze Connor Melton and New Zealand representatives at the 2023 World Half Marathon Championships; Oska Inkster-Baynes, Michael Voss and Chris Dryden. Also toeing the start line are 2022 New Zealand Cross Country champion Matthew Taylor, William Little and 2019 World Championships marathon runner Caden Shields.

The 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney is entered in the women’s pole vault. After several years of injury toil the 27-year-old Aucklander enjoyed a renaissance in 2023. She secured her first national crown in six years and cleared 4.85m – her best height in four years.

In the women’s 800m, the 2022 New Zealand 800m champion Holly Manning faces the gold and silver medallists from the recent Pacific Games – Tillie Hollyer and Peyton Leigh – and 2:06 800m runner Stella Pearless. The men’s race will see a re-match between James Ford and Thomas Cowan, who finished one-two in the senior boys’ 800m at the 2023 New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships last weekend.

National 200m champion and 2023 World Athletics Championship representative Georgia Hulls is entered in the women’s 100m gift alongside 2022 national 200m and 400m medallist Isabel Neal. The event boasts some strong Para 100m fields, which include 2023 World Championships representative Joe Smith T37 in the men’s race while 2020 Tokyo Paralympian Anna Steven T64 features in the women’s 100m Para event.

Start lists here

Programme here

Where can I follow the action

A livestream of the event will be on the Bays Athletics Facebook page, which will go live shortly before the event.

The live results link will be available just prior to the event under the results tab on the Night of 5s website. More information go here

Gate entry is $5 per person purchase here