News & Updates

18 August 2022 • Mountain Running

Robertson hopes to ascend to mountain running glory

Orienteering world champion Tim Robertson, who scooped bronze at last month’s New Zealand Cross Country Championships, will be among the favourites in the senior men’s race at the NZ Mountain Running Championships. (Photo: Michael Dawson)

Tim Robertson, third at the recent New Zealand Cross Country Championships, could strike gold on the uphill only New Zealand Mountain Running Championships on Saturday.

Running as part of the Queenstown Vertical Challenge, which takes in an 8.6km 500m climb at Deer Park Heights, the event promises to take some of the most stunning scenery witnessed at a New Zealand national championship event.

Robertson competed in Sweden and England earlier this year, where he benefited by reducing his track PB’s over 1500m, 3000m and 5000m. The 27-year-old from Hutt Valley also took out the Orienteering World Games sprint championship title in Birmingham, Alabama last month.

Robertson will face tough competition from seasoned mountain runner Andy Good, the 2019 champion and runner up last year. Also in contention are national marathon champion Daniel Balchin plus Michael Sutton, Joseph Lynch, Joel Carman, Benjamin Britton and Buddy Small who was second in the 2019 under 20 championship.

Bethany Bromfield was intending to tackle the senior women’s climb hoping to come away with the title.

However, a couple of weeks ago she sustained an ankle injury which has altered her expectations.

I’m still going down to Queenstown so I may still start even if I just jog it,” she explains.

“I wanted to do it as I would like to go to the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand in November, so if I can do this race that would be good.”

The 27-year-old architect took up running two years ago after competing for her firm in the Auckland Round-the-Bays fun run and had instant success winning the Auckland cross country title, the Kerikeri Half Marathon and the Hawkes Bay Marathon. Others in with a chance are experienced trail runner Kate Morrison, competitive runner Monica Koster, Miriam Clark and Jessica Campbell.

Dwight Grieve a solid uphill runner, should dominate the master men in their 8.6km race. Grieve in the 45-49 grade won outright last year and also in 2018. Andrew Lonie is also in the 45-49 grade while Oliver O’Sullivan and Elliot O’Sullivan are in the 35-39 grade and Steve Anderson in the 40-44.

David Clark master men 50 plus winner last year is back for the 5.8km climb and will face 2018 50 plus winner Cliff Bowman.

Heading the master women in the 5.8km event are Michelle Watt 35-39, Georgina Pakeho 45-49 and Bridgett Deverell, Christine Montgomery and Gail Kirkman compete in the 50 plus.

Ben Scott second in the U18 event last year returns for the under 20 5.8km race – where he will line up against Benjamin Rickerby, Joshua Jordan, Jude Deaker and James McLeay.

Sophie Robb and Kennedy Taylor should have a close race in the fight to take out the women’s U20 crown.

By Murray McKinnon

Results here

***If the weather does take a turn for the worse on Saturday, there is a chance all three races could start at 10am. With this in mind, could all runners collect their race numbers by 9.30am and be ready for the race briefing at 9.45am. A final call on start times will be made at 9am on Saturday.