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OTAGO SPRING 3000M CHALLENGE. Thursday 14 September 2023

Caledonian Ground, Logan Park, Dunedin

A collaborated event between Athletics Otago and the University of Otago. Thursday 14 September at the Caledonian under lights from 6.30pm

ODT Sport Report, Friday, 15 September 2023 >> Athletes up and running as track and field season opens 

Check the results >> Track and Field Results 2023/24

Above photos courtesy of Pablo Rey

Leith Lasses burn up the track in the first track race for the 2023/24 Season

How did the Leith Athletes fare in the Challenge

The event well off very well in windy conditions and under the new lights  with Leith’s Janus Staufenberg winning the race in 8:36.4. Leith’s Olivia Thornbury won the female grade in 10:10.2. The triathlon athletes Janus and Olivia were competing as University of Otago students thus winning the Lovelock Medal for the first university students home.

It was great to see so many Leith singlets out there. Smart times too in very windy conditions. It is early in the season so there are sure to be many personal bests from October this year to March next year. 

Spring Challenge 3000m – Reflections from behind -Sue Hendry

One of Leith’s top female runners over the years and now back with the Leith family, reflects on her experience in completing again on the track

When Chris suggested that we have a go at the 3000m track race, I thought, why not? It would be a good Thursday night training session and both my children Alice and Sam were being brave enough to give it a go, so I’d be there anyway.

Come Thursday however, I made the mistake of looking at the entrants list and immediately went into panic mode. The race was full of elite young runners and I was going to get last – possibly by a lot! I spent the day talking myself out of starting – would I embarrass myself? Would I get in the way of the fast runners? Would I hold up the start of the men’s race?

I finally made the decision just to run, but the question in my head was – Is there any point in starting if you know you’re going to get last?

This quickly got answered – of course! I felt proud that at my age I could be part of this event. I felt in awe of the incredible woman athletes as they lapped me (especially my fellow Leith runners, including Alice). And to be honest I think I got more of a cheer at the finish line coming in dead last than I can remember back in the day when I could win such events.

I then got to watch the incredible mens race. what superb athletes every single one of them, and was proud that Sam was able to hold his own in his first track race.

So what did I learn – just start! Everyone who finishes is a winner!”