News & Updates

28 September 2023 • Road

Road Relays set to fire as part of Loburn 68

The New Zealand Road Relay Championships provide one of the highlights of the year for many clubs. Credit (Ethan Gillespie)

Eight times winners University of Canterbury will be defending the national senior road relay title in memory of club stalwart and organiser of previous relay championships Daniel Reese, who recently passed away.

The championship will be staged on an eight lap two circuit course in Loburn, North Canterbury on Saturday. Labelled Loburn 68 because the circuit covers 34km with laps ranging from 6.2km to 11.2km.

Daniel Balchin, fresh from his title win at the road championships in Palmerston North and anchor runner last year returns along with team members from last year – Saxon Morgan and Tom Moulai.

Back up will come from national mountain running champion Andy Good, former national steeplechase champion Harry Ewing, Ethan Smolej, Henry McMeeking and Max Yanzick.

Whippets Running Project second last year, three minutes behind University, are back with a stronger line-up of David Lee, national cross country silver medallist, New Zealand 1500m bronze medallist Russell Green, Jacob Priddey, former national junior 3000m champion, Jack Paine, the 2022 Auckland road champion, Ben Hamilton a 1:10 half marathoner, Ronan Lee second to Balchin in the national road championship, William Little a 14:06 5000m runner and Cameron Swales.

Cameron Clark, Corban Straker and Ieuan Van der Peet will run for Christchurch Avon who were the 2022 senior men’s bronze medallists. Feilding Moa have put together a competitive team of Sam Perry, Isaac Murphy, George Varney, Sam Stichbury, Jamie Dennis, Harry Dixon, Andre Le Pine-Day and Ben Wall. Other notable performers include: Aaron Pulford (Pakuranga), Cameron Graves and Adrian Blincoe (North Harbour Bays), Nathan Tse (Wellington Harriers) and Daniel Jones (Wellington Scottish).

Laura Nagel, Brigid Dennehy and Niamh De Hora are back in action from last year’s winning North Harbour Bays senior women’s team. They will combine with Esther Keown, Clara Lachurie, Lucy Jacobs, Maisie Kilner and Anna Bramley in the defence of the title they have now won eleven times.

Bays have entered a second team and have allocated their runners evenly with the aim of trying to win two medals.

Among the second combination are Lana Van Hout, a 38:42 10km runner, Jessie Speedy fourth at 2023 New Zealand Road Championships and who anchored their winning team last year, New Zealand Cross Country champion Anneke Arlidge and New Zealand mile silver medallist Holly Manning.

Whippets Running Project will be looking to go one better from being second last year, with a powerful team of Tillie Hollyer, Kelly Parlane, Sabina Piras, Jaye Atkin, Olivia Rooney, Katrina Andrew national road silver medallist, Sophie Hicks and Emily Molloy.

Wellington Harriers have a strong mix of seniors and masters with Natalie Hardaker, Esther George, Andrea Peat, Charlotte Kerr, Sally McGrandle, national road champion Sarah Drought, Saskia Cosgrove-Drayton and Vickie Humphries. University of Canterbury nine times previous winners and third last year will be competitive with Natalie Dryden, twelve times national track champion Angie Petty, Miriam Clark, Megan Foster, Bridie Restieaux, Penny Mouat, Alex Hawke and Rosa Twyford.

Auckland City Athletic have a mortgage on the junior women’s relay with three strong teams entered. They have won the title seven times, the last time in 2016.

Their number one team has plenty of talent and will be lining up with national U18 road bronze medallist Sophie Robb, Zara Pomfret, third in the Auckland U18 road championships, Grace Meredith, Nina Chalmers and the Hellyer twins – Lisa and Sarah. Mia Cain-Townley will be running for Nelson, Brynne Gordon for Port Hills and Eliza Squire for Wellington Harriers. Auckland were second last year behind Olympic Harriers with Wellington Harriers third.

Pakuranga will be seeking their third junior men’s title in a row, having won in Feilding in 2020 and at Bottle Lake last year. Ben Oxford heads the team, having already this year won the national U16 1500m, 3000m and cross country titles. Oxford is well backed by Caleb Wagener, a national U18 bronze medal winner over 3000m and cross country, Connor Jamieson, Noah Crowhurst, Christian Geldenhuys and Alexander Wilkins.

Selwyn third last year, is led by Daniel Prescott second in the U18 cross country, along with Ben Airey a 15:05 5000m runner, Cooper Wightman third in the U18 1500m, Luke Johnston a 8:53 3000m runner, Will McMeeken and James McLeay U18 800m silver medallist.

Port Hills will be competitive with Thomas Newsom, the Canterbury road champion, former national U18 800m and 1500m silver medallist Liam O’Donnell and Angus Sevier the national U18 cross country champion. Three times champions Auckland City boast national U20 mountain running champion for the last two years Benjamin Rickerby.

Six of Don Greig Racing Stables team that won the master women’s relay last year, have returned to defend their title. Annie Radecki, Fiona Crombie, Fiona Dowling, Kirsten Hall, Lisa Brignull and Jess Winter will be back along with Rosie Hay and Teresa Blackmore to field a formidable combination.

Twelve times previous winners Wellington Scottish who snared silver last year have teamed together Emily Solsberg, Amanda Broughton, Anna Hooper, Lindsay Barwick, Floortje Kaars, Jaime Vessiot, Sierra Ryland and Ayesha Shafi.

TTT Runners, third last year, are back with another strong line-up of Gill Fullen, Pip Tuckey, Rachel O’Brien, Claire Kenyon, Hilary Wicks, Rachael Eade, Katie Vroegop and former national 10km, half marathon, 10,000m and cross country champion Lisa Cross.

Owairaka last won the master men’s relay in 1982 in Palmerston North and after bagging silver last year are keen to seal another victory. They are headed by Simon Mace, national masters road champion Nick Moore and national 24-hour running champion Keith Burrows. Backing them are Julian Ng, the 2022 Rotorua Half Marathon champion Mariano Piagentini, who arrived four years ago from Argentina, Adam Berry, Ben Winder and Richard Harris.

Lake City Athletics winners in 2006, 2008 and 2009 have listed Alan Ferguson, Sjors Corporaal, John Mering, Brendon Keenan, Lance Downie, Will O’Connor, Matthew Parsonage and Ben Green.

Four times winners and third last year Wellington Harriers have Dan Clendon. Wesley are strengthened with the inclusion of Malcolm Hicks and seven times champions Wellington Scottish will compete with Andrew Wharton, Simon Keller, Geoff Ferry, Paul Barwick, Alasdair Saunders, Rowan Hooper, Tim Hodge and Dion Gamperie.

The dark horse this year will be the Whippets Running Project who boast a line up of Daniel Donegan, Mark Boyce, Ryan Kiesanowski, Michael Wanden, Mick Keating, Greg Darbyshire, Zebedee Stone and Warrick Wood.

Wellington Scottish will be defending the masters over 50 title, Christchurch Avon winners last year will match Auckland University for the over 60 honours. Wellington Harriers defending holders, Nelson and Christchurch Avon will battle out the over 70 title.

***Provisional team lists here

***Results link here – LINK TO COME