News & Updates

3 October 2023 • Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup: 3 October 2023

The seven-strong New Zealand team at the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia.

Inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships, Riga – 1 October 2023
New Zealand runners put in solid performances on the world stage at the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga Latvia.

National 1500m champion in 2017 Eric Speakman produced a personal best 5km of 13:49 finishing 26th. Rio Olympic Games 5000m bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia won in 12:59.

Katherine Camp, who has won a number of New Zealand middle distance track titles and recently moved up to longer races on the road collecting a silver in last year’s national half marathon championship led in the Kiwi’s in the half marathon. Camp was 55th in 1:17:35, in an extremely competitive field. National women’s marathon champion Debbie Donald finished four places later in 1:18:35. Tokyo Olympic Games marathon gold medallist Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya defended her world title in 1:07:25.

Cameron Avery followed up top New Zealand finisher at the world cross country championships in February with another first New Zealand placing of 45th in the men’s half marathon in 1:03:00. Oska Inkster-Baynes was 64th in 1:04:52, Christopher Dryden 69th in 1:05:38 and national half marathon champion Michael Voss completed the New Zealand line-up finishing 76th in 1:07:32.

Kenyan Sabastian Kimaru Sawe won the title in 59:10.

Men’s 5km: Eric Speakman 13:49 PB (26). Hagos Gebrhiwet (Ethiopia) won in 12:59.
Women’s half marathon: Katherine Camp 1:17:35 (55), Debbie Donald 1:18:35 (59). Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya) won in 1:07:25.
Men’s half marathon: Cameron Avery 1:03:00 (45), Oska Inkster-Baynes 1:04:52 (64), Christopher Dryden 1:05:38 (69), Michael Voss 1:07:32 (76). Sabastian Kimaru Sawe (Kenya) won in 59:10.


New Zealand Road Relay Championships, Loburn 68 – 30 September 2023
North Harbour Bays achieved a rare double by taking first and second in the senior women’s relay at the New Zealand Road Relay Championships at Loburn North Canterbury.

The Club with strength of numbers in their ranks were able to field two evenly balanced teams for the eight lap 68km event. Their A team of Esther Keown, Laura Nagel, Niamh De Hora, Lauren Gowland, Anna Bramley, Brigid Dennehy, Maisie Kilner and Charlotte Greenwood finished just 42 seconds ahead of the B team.

In retaining the title, Bays have now won the championship 12 times, their first coming in 1997 on the Takehe to Akaroa course. Team captain Dennehy said it was a close and exciting finish.

“We were in third after the first leg, Laura Nagel brought us into second on the next lap and Niamh De Hora took us into the lead on the third tough hilly leg.”

They maintained the lead through the next two stages and Brigid Dennehy running leg six opened up a three minute lead on the second Bays team.

On the hilly lap Holly Manning for the two team started hunting the number one team down closing in to within 40 seconds.

“Charlotte Greenwood finished it off for us. It was a close exciting finish, I’m glad we pulled it off,” said Dennehy.

Whippets were third.

The Whippets Running Project followed up their second placing last year collecting the senior men’s title after leading throughout.

Team captain William Little said Russell Green set the team up well on the first lap. Little maintained the lead on lap two gaining some time over defending champions University of Canterbury.

“Jacob Priddey had a good run on the hill which is a pretty tough leg and Cameron Swales ran a nice solid leg for lap four increasing our lead,” explained Little.

“Heading into lap five Jack Paine maintained the lead but UC, with Harry Ewing, were starting to come through moving up to second from fourth passing North Harbour Bays and Feilding Moa.

“We had drama at the change-over on lap six, as David Lee had forgot his number, so there was a bit of a wait at the change-over with a little bit of stress.

“But we got off alright, we got his number to him and we still had a fair bit of a lead on UC.

“David Lee ran really well his last 3km were amazing on the long leg.

“Coming from behind Daniel Balchin from UC absolutely blitzed it, recording the quickest time on the long lap.”

Next up for the Whippets was Ronan Lee, who is hill specialist.

“He ran really well over the hills and put valuable time into UC, which gave us a buffer going into the last lap.

“Ben Hamilton was just cool calm and collected on the last lap and closed it well.

“Ethan Smolej ran well for UC, but there was too much time for him to make up,” said Little.

Little added that UC were without two of their key runners.

“I’d just like to put it out there that Chris Dryden and Oska Inkster-Baynes are away at the world half champs and if they had been running for UC, it would have been a great battle.

“So credit to UC for putting up a strong challenge without those two guys there.”

Whippets won the 68km relay in 3:32:02, 5:15 ahead of UC, with Feilding Moa third in 3:37:37.

The B grade went to University of Canterbury in 3:58:10

Whippets also won the masters in 3:53:29 for the 68km from Don Greig Racing Stables with Owairaka third. The Don Greig Stables won the master women from TTT and the over 50 master men.

Selwyn with their team of Ben Airey, Cooper Wightman, Luke Johnston, Will McMeeken, Daniel Prescott and James McLeay triumphed in the junior heading in defending champions Pakuranga.

Auckland City Athletics monopolised the podium taking the first three placings in the junior women. Their A team of Sophie Robb, Zara Pomfret, Grace Meredith, Nina Chalmers, Lisa Hellyer and Sarah Hellyer finished nearly seven seconds ahead of the B team.

The master women over 50 went to Wellington Scottish for the fourth championship in a row. Christchurch Avon retained the master men over 60’s title and Athletics Nelson claimed their first masters over 70 title.

In the prestigious award for best overall club at the 2023 NZ Road Relay Championships, The Whippets Running Project came out on top after securing 54 points across the championships, just four points ahead of Don Greig Racing Stables who amassed 50 points, with Wellington Scottish and Wellington Harriers sharing third place honours accumulating 44 points each respectively.

Men 68km: Whippets Running Project (Russell Green, William Little, Jacob Priddey, Cameron Swales, Jack Paine, David Lee, Ronan Lee, Ben Hamilton) 3h 32m 2s 1, University of Canterbury 3h 37m 17s 2, Feilding Moa 3h 37m 37s 3.
B Grade: University of Canterbury 3h 58m 10s 1, Victoria University 4h 3m 34s 2, Run Timaru 4h 5m 54s 3. C Grade: David Lee Fan Club 4h 14m 41s 1, Greymouth 4h 15m 42s 2, Wellington Scottish 4h 28m 9s 3.

Women 68km: North Harbour Bays (Esther Keown, Laura Nagel, Niamh de Hóra, Lauren Gowland, Anna Bramley, Brigid Dennehy, Maisie Kilner, Charlotte Greenwood) 4h 18m 4s 1, North Harbour Bays 2 team 4h 18m 46s 2, Whippets 4h 21m 47s 3.

Master men 68km: Whippets (Michael Wanden, Mark Boyce, Zebedee Stone, Dan Donegan, Mick Keating, Greg Darbyshire, Ryan Kiesanowski, Warrick Wood) 3h 53m 29s 1, Don Greig Racing Stables 3h 56m 8s 2, Owairaka 4h 0m 3s 3.
B Grade: TGT Goon Squad 4h 42m 1s 1, Auckland City Athletics 5h 0m 1s 2, Sexual Chocolate 5h 9m 54s 3.
Over 50: Don Greig Racing Stables 4h 17m 42s 1, Wellington Scottish 4h 19m 51s 2, Owairaka 4h 23m 49s 3.
Over 60 39km: Christchurch Avon 2h 41m 9s 1, Wellington Harrier Athletic 2h 46m 2s 2, Auckland University 2h 48m 14s 3.
Over 70 39km: Athletics Nelson 3h 7m 4s 1, Christchurch Avon 3h 12m 43s 2, Wellington HAC 3h 25m 28s 3.

Master women 68km: Don Greig Racing Stables (Kim Drummond, Jess Winter, Annie Radecki, Nicola Handley, Rosie Hay, Kirsten Hall, Lisa Brignull, Teresa Blackmore) 4h 44m 56s 1, TTT Runners 4h 47m 5s 2, Wellington Scottish 4h 48m 59s 3.
Over 50 39km: Wellington Scottish 2h 55m 50s 1, Don Greig Racing Stables 3h 2m 5s 2, Run Timaru 3h 32m 22s 3.

Junior men 39km: Selwyn (Ben Airey, Cooper Wightman, Luke Johnston, Will McMeeken, Daniel Prescott, James McLeay) 2h 11m 58s 1, Pakuranga 2h 12m 42s 2, Port Hills 2h 14m 28s 3.

Junior women 39km: Auckland City Athletics (Sophie Robb, Zara Pomfret, Grace Meredith, Nina Chalmers, Lisa Hellyer, Sarah Hellyer) 2h 30m 55s 1, ACA 2 team 2h 37m 34s 2, ACA 3 team 2h 42m 45s 3.

Top Club: Whippets Running Project 54 points 1, Don Greig Racing Stables 50 2, Wellington Scottish and Wellington Harrier Athletic Club 44 3 equal.

Fox Trot 5km, Viaduct Harbour, 26 September: Greg Darbyshire 16:27, Harry Harris 17:34, Owen Mitchell 17:39. Sophie Hogan 20:21, Hannah Skelton 22:26, Emily Richardson 22:39.

Rat Race 5km, Takapuna, 27 September: Tom Hanrahan 19:34, Peter Clark 22:38, Andy Smith 23:36. Claire McKone 23:54.

Devonport Half Marathon, Windsor Reserve, 1 October: Ben Parker 1:16:47, Mark Paterson 1:18:05, Michael Dick 1:18:46. Kat Morgan 1:29:10, Dale Berrill 1:30:49, Kate MacDonald 1:31:14. 10km; Jordan Merritt 37:27, Clinton Loveday 38:02, Ben McKelvey 38:32. Hayley Houston 47:07, Rosa Henderson 47:30, Winona Lee 47:38. 5km; Aron Thompson 19:09, Mark Carryer 19:38, Jack Beaumont 19:58. Jamie-Lee Lofroth 21:47, Tia Korewha 22:22, Ayawa Sotome 22:30.

Marina 2 Marina, 30 September: 24km; Gus Marfell 1:44:23, Oliver Linscott 1:47:29, Sarn Hunnisett 1:54:25. Jackie Allan 2:04:24, Stacey Goble 2:06:21, Annabel Jeaffreson 2:17:29.

Sprig and Fern 10km, 30 September: George Alexander 36:06, Caleb Hill 38:17, Dan Busch 38:33.

The Coastal Half Marathon, 30 September: Matthew Hallam 1:21:13, James Faulkner 1:23:15, Bryan Staunton 1:30:51. Alice Cuthbert 1:41:29, Kate Aldred 1:47:37, Leah Rae 1:48:28.

Cromwell Half Marathon, Alpha Street Reserve, 30 September:
Jason Van Kempen 1:18:25, Jamie Whyte 1:22:28, Logan Boyd 1:24:43. Berber Swart 1:28:57, Holly Monro 1:37:53, Harriet Mills 1:43:27. 10km; Robert Smith 34:07, Xavier Castelliet I Julia 37:01, Scott Cranfield 37:17. Naomi Brand 41:29, Rebecca Wood 43:57, Josie O’Grady 45:45.

51st Leith Harbour Free 5 and 10, 28 September: 10km; Theo Nicholson 40:51. 5km; Sandor Toth 18:38, Simon Leaning 19:47, Mark O’Neill 20:36. Claudia Sole 20:45, Eliza Rothery 20:49, Alice Cuthbert 20:52.

Olympian number 150 Donal Smith of Auckland died on 27 September 2023 aged 89.

Smith represented New Zealand at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in the 880 yards. He was second in his heat in 1:52.8 and fifth in the final in 1:51.5.

He competed at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games along with Sir Peter Snell in the 800m. He won his heat in 1:51.7 and was fourth in the quarter-final in 1:48.4 and did not advance to the semi-finals. Snell was second in his quarter-final in a slower time of 1:48.6 and went through to the semis and on to win the Gold medal in the final.

After Rome Smith continued his running for the Toronto Olympic Club setting Canadian 800m and 800m indoor records in 1963.

He was President of the Auckland University Track Club, received a New Zealand University Blue 1955-56 and an Oxford University Blue in 1959. He held the Oxford Cambridge 880 yards match record, toured USA and Canada in 1957 with the Oxford Cambridge athletic team. He equalled Doug Harris’ New Zealand 880 yards record of 1:49.4 in London in August 1958.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at All Saint’s Chapel Purewa Cemetery at 12pm Friday 6 October.