News & Updates

13 May 2022 • General

Hannah chases national marathon title and World Championship mark

Hannah in pursuit of marathon happiness Hannah Miller in action during the Woodlands Marathon in Houston, Texas, US. Hannah Miller finished in second place overall and first place in the womens event (Photo: Scott Flathouse Photography)

Hannah Miller should emerge as national women’s marathon champion on Sunday as she chases a World Championship entry standard time.

The 24-year-old former Southlander, now running for Wellington Scottish will line up along with Lisa Cross, Nancy Jiang and Martina Wreford to tackle the 42.2km on a super-fast recently designed course in Tai Tapu Christchurch.

Miller, the 2017 Oceania 1500m and 5000m champion, was buoyed after a 1:12:41 half marathon in Houston in January that she decided to extend out to the full marathon in March where she recorded an impressive 2:38:29 on debut in Woodlands Texas. She now sees the Oregon World Championships entry standard of 2:29:30 as being an achievable goal.

Cross was second in the 2019 national championship and won the New Zealand 10km in 2011, the half marathon in 2012 and track 10,000m track in 2020. The 39-year-old has a best of 2:41:56 from winning the 2011 Auckland Marathon. Jiang (31) the 2021 New Zealand Mountain Running champion has a best marathon of 2:55:15 after finishing fourth in the 2016 Auckland Marathon.

Reboot – The Athletes Marathon has attracted a strong field to contest the men’s title. Oska Inkster-Baynes winner of the 2016 Auckland marathon and the 2019 Christchurch title race in his fastest time of 2:18:11 will be keen to test himself on the course, he helped set up, out and back along Old Tai Tapu Road.

Three times national steeplechase champion Daniel Balchin will be debut over the 42.2km distance and interest will centre on the 31-year-old and how he fares. Balchin has the speed and background with a 1:05:23 half marathon run in Christchurch last year to his credit.

Andy Good, the 2019 Buller Gorge marathon winner and second in last year’s Christchurch race should improve on his previous best time of 2:25:50. Bert Prendergast fourth in Christchurch in 2019 and with a best of 2:28:40 will be with the pace from the start. Nathan Tse is another in the field likely to improve after his win in the Wairarapa Marathon in November in 2:27:38 which he followed up with a fourth placing in the Auckland race in January.

Ultra-runner Vajin Armstrong with a best of 2:28:18 from Boston in 2015 has entered as well as Chris Lines second in Taupo last year in 2:41:50.

Runners returning after competing in Christchurch last year are Orestas Rimkus 2:37:34, Simon Mace 2:38:34, Mitch Cantlon 2:41:44 and Shaun McWhirter 2:44:20.

Both the men’s and women’s marathon races offer a prize pool of $1500 with $600 awarded to the first-place finisher down to $200 for fourth.

The marathon along with the half marathon starts alongside the Tai Tapu Domain at 7.30am on Sunday.

Check the Marathon Start List here.