News & Updates

24 March 2023 • Trail Running

Jones and Hill set for titanic NZ Trail Running Championship tussle

Katie Morgan will be one of the main contenders in the race for national short course trail running honours on Sunday.

Daniel Jones of Wellington and Weston Hill of Upper Hutt are expected to battle it out at the New Zealand Short Course Trail Running Championships, which feature as part of the 3 Peaks Mountain Race in Dunedin on Sunday.

The grueling event covers three peaks plus one for a total distance of 55km. It covers 22km of the iconic 26km three peaks route with a detour to take in the extra 33km consisting of a brutally steep climb up Mount Cargill including single track running through native bush and a river crossing. The finish is at Chingford Park North East Valley.

Hill is the 2020 champion winning the 53km Crater Rim event in Christchurch in 4:38:31. He represented New Zealand at the 2022 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand in November.

Jones is the in-form ultra-distance runner having won the Kepler 60km challenge in December in 4:43:14 and the 102km Tarawera Ultramarathon in February in 7:27:55.

Chris Bisley of Dunedin has the benefit of experiencing the demanding course having won in 2021 in 5:27:11. Glen Chisholm of Clyde – tenth last year and second master – returns along with experienced master runner Dwight Grieve of Te Anau and Kelvin Meade of Invercargill, second in the masters at the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships last year.

World barefoot 100km record holder Wayne Botha of Takapuna will add interest to the event.

Katie Morgan of Fairlie will be defending the women’s title she won on the Crater Rim 53km in October. Morgan also won the Kepler Challenge last year in 5:59:25.

Margie Campbell of Dunedin, who won last year’s Dunedin Marathon in 2:56:08, will be in the hunt for a podium placing. 

Rose Pearson of Cambridge won the 3 Peaks 55km in 2021 in 6:40:13, Jessica Campbell of Christchurch, who represented New Zealand at the 2022 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, was third in 6:48:30. Both return for the national championship.

Naomi Brand from South Africa recently relocated to Auckland and completed the recent Tarawera Ultramarathon 102km in ten hours.

Anna O’Byrne of Dunedin, first master last year in 6:59:59, returns to tackle the 55km. 

Last year Gavin Dale set a course record of 5:22:02 and Ruth Croft the women’s record of 5:33:30. The race starts from Woodhaugh Street Dunedin at 6am.

By Murray McKinnon

***The race results from the 2023 New Zealand Short Course Trail Running Championships can be seen here