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Sole Sandfly-Sandymount Challenge, 1pm Sunday 11 December 2022

Seal Point Road car park, Dunedin

Full results >> Sole Sandfly-Sandymount Challenge Results 2022

See the photo collage of magnificent photos taken by Gisela Sole

Matthew Bolter shows the others a clean pair of barefoot heels

The participants all had a wonderful time out there on the hills, beach and sand dunes.  Young talented runner Matthew Bolter from Hill City-University showed the others a clean pair of barefoot heels to take the line honours over the tough 6.76 Km course in a fast 39 minutes 52 seconds


Club President Chris Sole had this to say about the event

A photograph often captures the joy of the split-second moment, we forget so easily in our busy lives. If you have time to scan through the photographs on the Leith Facebook Group of the Sole Sandfly-Sandymount Challenge, especially of those running on the beach, sprinting down the sandune or nearing the finish, there is a pure unbridled effervescent essence. This Life, bubbling and woofing within and without everyone, is re-radiated by the energy released. Running can be raw, ruthlessly natural, allowing us to play, taking life less seriously, finding kindred spirits even in our diversity. The Finish line is not the end goal. It provides a beginning and platform to try and try again. Taking part without limiting our thinking by measuring outcomes, we are free to truly explore our potential. If you want lessons in free running form, look no further than the characteristics displayed in these action shots. The science of movement analysis is removed from the Laboratory and gifted to us. There were no losers today. We are all on a journey, with twists and turns and even going the wrong way. The outcome, unpredictable, exciting and, yes, challenging.

Thank you, Andrew Wilson, for getting the idea off the ground, “race” name”, general organisation, advertising, course design, Map, Poster, liaison with Doc, toilets, The Wildlife Hospital Donations, marking, race briefing, start and finish, drinks, prizes. Thank you, Danny Baillie, for course input, testing the course and suggestions. Thanks to Marc Boullé and Lydia Pattillo for Advertising (Website, Facebook, ODT and The Star). Thanks to Richard, Andrew’s friend who arrived on his bike in the nick of time, and looked after the Finish, Whiteboard Results, drinks while we ran/walked. Thanks to Sebastian for Results and Photographs. Thanks to Gisela for Photographs, Christmas Fruit Cake, sharing her Birthday and Dave McLean for generously offering his home-made bottles of Elderberry Champagne. And to Grant McDonald, who travelled with family all the way from Whitianga to race and attend his son’s graduation as Dental Technician. Unfortunately for Grant, he and Dave were at the wrong start line at the Sandymount parking. Once they realised no one was arriving, they sprinted down the sandune to join us at the start on the beach. Grant magnanimously offered to forfeit finishing the race, to drive Dave’s 4×4 with the precious Water and Champagne refreshments, from Sandymount to Seal Point Road Finish.

Families who completed part of the Challenge include Tim Bolter (Emma and Will), Georgy Pakeho (Violet, who loved it and is eager to run the whole thing next year,and friend, Heaven), Hayden Scorringe (wife Tessa and sons, Alex and Callum (+swimming)) and Gisela. Further enthusiastic support from Florence Reynolds who cycled out to Seal Point Road, with picnic, on Saturday, mistaking the day, reappearing on Sunday.

As the year draws to a close, you have a chance to measure your fitness at The 42nd Leith Harbour Free 5/10km (walk/run) on Sunday 18th, 9am, from Watercooled Sports (Course 2). The weather is predicted to be perfect. The course is fast, flat and you can always finish with a swim.


Kepler Challenge, 3 December 2022

Kepler Track, Te Anau, New Zealand

For more on New Zealand’s Premier Mountain run >> Freshchoice Kepler Challenge 

Full Results >> Kepler Results 2022

Nick Punnett scaling the heights


MEN (Leith & Friends)

166 NICK PUNNETT (#332) 08:42:52 NZL | Open (87) 222

214 ISAAC TRIPP (#424) 09:25:06 NZL | Open (108) 297

229 NOLAN HILL (#190) 09:44:00 NZL | Veteran 40+ (65)322

239 STEVE STEWART (#399) 09:57:31 NZL | Veteran 50+ (58)334

WOMEN (Leith & Friends)

9 FLORENCE REYNOLDS (#347) 06:58:46 NZL | Open (8) 61

10 ANNA O’BYRNE (#304) 07:07:24 NZL | Open (9) 66


MEN (Leith & Friends)

22 JARED BRENSSELL (#716) 02:38:42 NZL | Open (22) 32


Florence: “I absolutely loved Kepler (and only loved slightly less the last 10km!). There was such a great vibe with volunteers and supporters. I was stoked to make it to the start line this year, been wanting to do it forever. Perfect conditions and amazing views. Its my longest run ever and first Ultra. I am hooked.”

Anna: ” A tough day out with tummy issues – felt like my gut was on fire each time I ate and had stomach pain and cramps for the whole 60km. Still a PB by just over 10mins and a strong finish so I am happy with that. I love Kepler, it really is a run that I just can’t quite figure out. I’ll keep trying – Maybe next year I can crack it.”

Donna: ”Well organized, ideal weather, massive elevation. My knee started getting really sore with about 16kms to go but I blocked it out. I ran a good part with Estrella which was nice. I even saw a Kea right beside me near the Luxmore Hut. Thanks to Claire A for cheering us on and Steve Tripp with his cow bell. I will never forget this epic.”

Steve: “What a day! That was brutal but I still loved it. The scenery was out of this world. A massive job setting up entertainment by the local Volunteers. I sat in Lake Te Anau to help with sore muscles afterwards.”

Nolan: “Kepler went well. I stayed with my friend Jono, and just took it easy all day. We had amazing running weather, great views and company all the way around. Jono was very brave, he had a sore stomach from 38km, and dizzy spells over the last 8km. We walked on and off, and the last 5km. He was out of Covid Isolation on Wednesday. And my shoes lasted!”

Nick: “Covid legs died in the second half, but just stoked to finish after being in Isolation until yesterday.”


Crush the Cargill 24 Hour Challenge 2022, Sat 19 Nov, Sun 20 Nov, 2022

Bethune’s Gully, Dunedin

Crush the Cargill 2022 took place from Saturday, November 19th to Sunday 20th November

Brandon Purdue achieved an amazing 18 laps over the 24 hours equaling Chris Bisley’s record.  For more results and news visit the event website and facebook page

For full details >> Crush the Cargill Facebook

or visit the website >> Crush the Cargill Website


SILVERSTREAM SPIN, 9am October 29th 2022

Bridge Field, Waiora campsite, Silverstream Valley Rd, Dunedin

This event has taken place

“Silver Stream Spin is the best combination of chaos, adventure, and romping through the forest with your friends! One of the most enjoyable “races” I’ve ever done!”
Wyatt Stevens

For more on this event >> Silverstream Spin Website

Backyard Ultra – World Team Championship, started October 15, 2022

Auckland, New Zealand

For website >> Backyard Ultra

Visit NZ Backyard Ultra Team Facebook >> NZ Backyard Ultra Team Facebook


A NZ 15-person team which included John Bayne, Glenn Sutton, Andy Smith, qualified by scoring the highest number of loops in NZ within two years, will compete against 36 other countries to be the last person and in fact the last country standing! Due to time zones – start was 1am NZ Time on Sunday 16th October and finish ???…at least 50 hours to Tuesday morning. The format was a 6.7km trail loop run each hour. A DNF is achieved by not completing the loop in an hour, or not starting on the hour.

The current world record is 90 laps (603.5km) run by Merijn Geerts (from Belgium) at a Germany Backyard in May 2022. The NZ record at the start of this event was 38 laps by Chris Bisley at Riverhead ReLaps (2021). But New Zealander Will Hayward has run 59 at Big Dogs backyard in Tennessee (2019).

The Country clocking the highest total laps wins, thus making teamwork important. In 2020, NZ placed 16th/ 21 countries. At present the NZ team is ranked 15th/37 countries.

The event was streamed on YouTube with all countries linked. Each country will had a spotlight hour. During that time, a course video, live interviews was aired. New Zealand’s spotlight hour was 12 noon on Sunday

Steve Tripp’s Writeup

“It’s an interesting concept”, said Glenn Sutton. He had just run 38 laps, been encouraged out of his tent for the 39th , started to turn around, but with encouragement kept going. While everyone was cheering him on he got just over the brow of the hill and tried mooning us. Fortunately that was a failure also as although we could tell what he was doing, we could only see his top half. Finally, he came to his senses, walked back to the start and officially DNFed.
The “interesting concept” is the Backyard Ultra. Runners set off on the hour every hour to run a 6.7km loop. Once the hour starts they are on their own with no support until they get back to the finish. The faster they go the more time they get between laps. The faster they go the more energy they use up. It’s a balancing act.
There are currently three Backyard Ultras in NZ that are affiliated with the International Backyard Ultra movement set up by Lazarus Lake. The top 15 participants from those earned a spot in the NZ team for the World Team Championships that began last Sunday morning. As I write this, 85 hours have passed and two teams still remain with two runners in each – Belgium and Japan. The world record is 90 laps set by Merijn Geerts of Belgium – he is one of the remaining runners. A live Zoom link connected all the countries and a continuous YouTube channel was showing updates and interviews.
All the teams in the world began at the same moment. NZ got the short end of the straw as for us that meant 1am Sunday morning. Out of the 37 countries in the World Team Championships we were ranked 15 th . The event was held at Puhinui Reserve near Auckland airport. Otago was well represented with Glenn Sutton, John Bayne, Andy Smith all from Dunedin and Adam Keen, Brandon Purdue and Jub Bryant from Queenstown.
All 15 managed 24 laps before John Bayne pulled out. Andy Smith managed a personal best of 32 laps and Glenn Sutton also managed a personal best of 38 laps (254km). By lap 41 there were only two remaining, Sam Harvey and Scott Bougen. Both of them were looking good and the average lap
times were increasing. However, after 45 laps and 302km, Scott’s body decided that was enough and he didn’t start lap 46. The rules of the Backyard Ultra mean that there can only be one winner and they must complete one lap more than anyone else so Sam had to do lap 46 on his own. It didn’t seem to be a problem as he shot around the course in 28 minutes setting the fastest lap time of any of the 544 starters throughout the world.
It is an interesting concept as we watch Belgium and Japan creep up on the world record. How far can we go? How far can humans go? Kipchoge likes to say, “No human is limited”. It seems logical that there are limits somewhere but we will never know when we have reached them so we may as well keep reaching.
The Backyard Ultra isn’t just for the elites though. Watching Sam Harvey complete his 308th kilometre faster than I have ever gone in 5km I realised that I could never do that! He has a physiology and mindset different to most! However we can all push. At Pigs Backyard Ultra in February this year I watched as runner after runner ran more than they had ever run in the past. For some it was their first half-marathon, for others their first marathon, or 100km, or 100mile.
This is where the Backyard Ultra becomes a really interesting concept”. It’s a chance for anyone to push their limits and find out they can go further. As well as that… it’s a really fun time with a great bunch of people!
The next Backyard Ultra in New Zealand is the Pigs Backyard Ultra in Dunedin. Entries are open already so sign up here…

Kelly’s Canter, Sunday 16 October 2022


Results are now available >> Trail Results 2022

The Palmerston Lions Club presented the 51st Kelly’s Canter on Sunday 16 October 2022

George Hamilton and Tim Rush running in the Open Men’s category were well out in front with George Hamilton shading Tim Rush by just 3 seconds.  Hamilton’s time was 19 minutes 59 seconds with Rush just behind in 20 minutes 2 seconds. Margie Campbell running in the Open Female category finished sixth overall and was the first female across the line in 25 minutes 24 seconds. Leith’s Lydia Pattillo finished 18th overall and was second in the Open Female category and third Female to finish in a time of 30 minutes 4 seconds. Orlaith Heron was second in the walk in 55 minutes 37 seconds and just below is a fantastic report from her on the event:

Kelly’s Canter is a wee gem of a hill run –
by Orlaith Heron

“Kelly’s Canter is a wee gem of a hill run up Mt Puketapu in Palmerston to the Sir John McKenzie memorial and back down. It’s roughly 4km with just over 300m elevation and it is one of my favourite events on the calendar. It’s touted as family fun run/walk and there is a great community spirit entrenched in the event. Sunday’s weather was perfect for the 51st edition with the forecast afternoon showers holding off. I made the trip with my friends Lenka and Grant along with their wee boy Radek. With an ongoing knee issue, we planned to hike the route and Lenka gets the medal for the hardiest soul for carrying Radek all the way. The course was well marked (thanks Russell!), there was a strip through the nettles ploughed out and underfoot was hard and fast. Those who have ran it before know the first part of the descent is steep and technical, those that didn’t sharply inhaled! There were many that choose to use their derrière for this section. There were smiles, chats and claps at the finish. Along with refreshments and certificates from the long-standing MC in the top hat. Then to finish there was the ritual post-race ice-cream. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? It was great to see Dunedin runners out in force!”


NZ Ultra Trail Champs, Crater Rim Ultra, Sunday 16 October

Crater Rim, Banks Peninsula

Full Results >> Crater Rim Ultra Results 2022

Anna O’Byrne had a great run, finishing second in the Female Category in the 83km event in a time of 11 hours 45 minutes 57 seconds

Dunedin 24 Hour Peak Bagging, 17 – 18 September 2022

Dunedin North, Dunedin, New Zealand

Starting wherever you like in the world at noon Saturday. You needed to be at Emersons Brewery carpark by noon Sunday having bagged as many peaks as you can only by human power. No motorised equipment to be used for travel

For results and report check the event website >> Inch Events

Race Tekapo, 17 September 2022

Lake Tekapo/Takapō

A new event at Lake Tekapo/Takapō and includes a 50km, 32km, half marathon, 10km, 5km and a kid’s 3km distance.

For full details and results visit >> Race Tekapo Website

Steve Stewart (Steve Rambo), proudly wearing his Leith singlet, had a fantastic run completing the Run 50km race in 6 hours 10 minutes 6 seconds and finishing 16th out of 22 in his division, 28th in the Male category and 35th out of the field of 60 finishers.  He reports: “This is a brand new event with a massive turn out. Over a thousand competitors ranging from 5k and up. Absolutely awesome scenery on a beautiful 14 degrees day.

Leith’s Bryan Staunton ran the Run 21km. The course was like a figure of eight, so everyone passed back through the start/finish area after 11km. His stats for the 11km split were: Run time 1 hour 8 minutes 30 seconds, 21st overall, 16th Male, 11th in the 16-39 age grade.  His finish time statistics for the 21km were:  Run time 1 hour 57 minutes 9 seconds, 11th overall, 10th Male, 9th in the 16-39 age grade.

Bryan’s experience of the event in his own words:

An awesome event which I had pre-entered for last year but had to wait a whole year due to covid postponements. Starting on the Tekapo lakefront, a relatively easy first few kms were followed by a very challenging 300m vertical climb to the top of Mount John. I drew on my experience from the Three Peaks race earlier this year and this time went very conservatively up the 2km of climb before starting an equally steep and challenging downhill section on tough terrain. Once the course finally flattened out around the 9km mark I was able to get back into a normal rhythm as we passed back through the start/finish area for a second loop. I felt good on the second loop and was able to pass quite a few runners on the final section through a network of mountain bike tracks in a pine forest. With the distance arguably clocking in at 21.7km on my watch it was definitely not your standard half marathon!

The Great Naseby Waterrace, 24-27 August 2022

Naseby, South Island, New Zealand

This unique ultramarathon event took place near Naseby – the highest town in New Zealand at 2000ft. Naseby is 15km north-west by road from Ranfurly and 145km north-west (via Middlemarch) from Dunedin. It is held on the last Weekend of August each year.

Visit the race website  >> The Great Naseby Water Race

Check the full results >> Trail Results 2022

Leith athletes were there again, competing and enjoying themselves at the same time.  There were some impressive results too. Reports and more photos to follow.  John Bayne got a win in the 200 miles solo event. In the 2x30km team event, Team Riley Homan & Corey Lewis finished second, Team Lydia Pattillo & Angela Bishop finished third. In the 80km solo event Dave McLean achieved an 8th place finish 

200 miles solo
1 John Bayne 43:28:18

Team 2x30km 
2 Riley Homan – Corey Lewis 5:29:55
3 Lydia Pattillo – Angela Bishop 5:39:19

80km solo
8 Dave McLean 12:24:56

Lydia Pattillo on how the Leith Athletes went in the various events

Perhaps the “fun run” option of the Great Naseby Water Race, four of our Leith athletes took on the 60km teams race. Riley Homan and Corey Lewis coming home in second place to winners Aaron and Kristy Eyles of Caversham. Lydia Pattillo and Angela Bishop soon followed in third place, also taking out first place for the women’s only teams.
Absolutely spoilt for weather, blue skies with only a touch of morning frost right through the multi day event were very well received.
The course was in pretty good condition despite the winter rains yet still had a decent few chunks of muddy sections to contend with.
Team consensuses were strong in the experience that the last lap of each of our 30km share was absolute hell!
However, without a doubt, the true heroes of the event were the extreme ultra runners. Hats off to those who began at 8am on Wednesday and were still slogging it out through to Saturday afternoon – incredible!

New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, Saturday 20 August 2022

Deer Park Heights, Queenstown

For full details >> NZ Mountain Running Champs 2022

For provisional results >> NZ Mountain Running Champs Results 2022

Leith had representatives at the champs this year. Christine Montgomery won the silver medal in the Master Women 50+ grade 5.8km in 41 minutes 41 seconds.  Andrew Lonie won a bronze medal in the Master Men 45-49 grade over 8.6km in 45 minutes 5 seconds. Corey Lewis finished 13th in the Senior Men 20-34 grade over 8.6km in 44 minutes 15 seconds. 

Corey Lewis tells of his experience of this fantastic event

Corey Lewis – photo by Riley Homan

“Deer Park Heights, Queenstown hosted this years NZ Mountain Running Champs. The majority of the 8.6km senior race was uphill (600m of climbing) but featured a downhill loop early on, doubling back onto the course and a ‘flat’ dog leg out and back section 5km in. The weather was fantastic, despite the forecast, making for great running and views. In the event of poor weather it was strongly recommended to have a support vehicle and person at the top to pick you up, luckily with Riley’s stellar driving she was able to get her small Mitsubishi up the Mountain. Donkeys, deer, horses, sheep and other livestock roamed the fields adjacent but were too happy feeding to interrupt. The course itself was difficult like a twisted relative of Cowan road. The single track towards the end added a technical element to finish things off.
I am happy with my result but would like to do a lot better next year. Doing some long mountain tempo runs might be a good place to start instead of just turning up on the day. For the scenery alone I would recommend this event to anyone”


Andrew Lonie’s Race Story

In the photo you can see Leith’s Andrew Lonie and Hill City University’s Elliot O’Sullivan running up one of the steep inclines. Photo taken by Andrew Robinson.

It was a chance conversation with the O’Sullivan’s, warming down after the Otago XC Champs, when it dawned on me that I could do the NZ Mountain Running Champs this year. Not a competition I had done before, but handily located in Queenstown with a skiing (definitely post race) holiday due. I haven’t done many mostly uphill races (the last I can remember is the 2006 Master’s Games Hill Run up Flagstaff), so some last minute specific training ensued, coinciding well with three weeks of torrential rain in Dunedin – running up creeks in the dark, Bethunes Gully and Signal Hill.

Race day was a counterpoint to that, with mild mirror lake conditions at Deer Park by Kelvin Heights. Although the 8.6km long course was a relatively complex series of turns and loops, Adrian Bailey and the ActiveQT did a fantastic job of briefing and marking the course. A relatively long downhill after 5-6 minutes of climbing, returning you almost to the start was an interesting feature – kind of good because I like downhill and managed to pass a few people there, but kind of bad because I’m not so good at uphill and had to repeat the first climb. The middle stages of the race were tough with unrelenting switchbacks going ever skyward, fortunately Elliot joined me to get me through that section. Corey’s long legs dangled on the horizon but never quite got any closer. Andrew Robinson shuttled back and forth on ebike and helpfully encouraged us on.

The early loop feature of the long course gave us the chance to encourage Christine during her successful silver medal run. A contouring out and back for 800m gave a welcome relief from the hill, it then eased off a bit, and after leaving the access road, became surprisingly reminiscent of a Ponydale loop that danced around some picturesque tarns, on slippery undulating tussock. We then popped out onto a final 100 metres or so of undulating gravel road, Swampy Summit style, towards the blasting music and finish banner. I was happy to finish in just over 45 minutes and in bronze position in Masters Men 45-49. I felt good enough after the race to run fast down a good chunk of the access road that I had toiled up. In a nice wrap up to the race, Ollie and Elliot O’Sullivan who I had first discussed the race with, won silver and bronze respectively in Masters Men 35-39.”

Christine Montgomery finishes with a Silver Medal and here is her story

Photo taken by Riley Homan showing Christine heading up a challenging incline with the backdrop of the snow-capped mountain peaks behind her.

“Today I arose at 4.30am to drive to Queenstown to run the NZ mountain running champs, on an amazingly sunny day. A huge thank you to the organisers. To top it off not only the view at the finish was breath-taking, but there was also music playing and everyone received a finishing medal. While to some a finishing medal for a running event might not mean much, I hardly have any, so I was rapt to get this one!

Did I mention the view! I was speechless. I ran the short course and could watch the senior and masters’ men run up the hill then down, then up again. So inspiring, getting overtaken by Oliver O’Sullivan, Andrew Lonie, Elliot O’Sullivan and Corey Lewis. Others from Otago included Michelle Watt, Georgia Pakeho and Bella Bloomfield. While I did not have the required fitness, I was so pleased to have finished it. Thanks to Sarah Goldsmith for not only giving me a ride back to my car and looking after my car keys but I sampled her delicious homemade fruit cake. It was delicious!! The drive home was tough. I would not recommend driving, racing, driving the same day but call me crazy”

Meridian Hydro Half Marathon, Saturday 6 August 2022

Te Anau, Fiordland

The course offered riverside and lakeside running, trails through native bush and small sections of road and 4WD tracks – there are also some undulating sections, with a maximum elevation of 240m, and even a ford

Event Website link >> Meridian Hydro Half Marathon, Saturday 6 August 2022

Full results >> Meridian Hydro Half Marathon 2022 Results

Anna O’Byrne takes out the Women’s title

Anna O’Byrne, who ran for Leith Athletics in the Senior Women’s relay team at the Leith Cross Country relays earlier this year, won the Women’s grade in 1 hour 39 minutes 12 seconds. She finished 18th overall.  Other results were Julia Devereux, 1 hour 55 minutes 10th in the 18-39 grade and Olivia Blackie, 2 hours 2 minutes 3 seconds 18th in the 18-39 grade.  Here she gives a fantastic account of how things panned out. “Friday night I headed over to Te Anau for a girls weekend away and the Hydro half marathon. It was a fantastic weekend with lots of belly laughs while catching up with some of my oldest and most dearest friends. Race morning was perfect and I decided that I would go out hard and see what my legs had in them. The starting canon (an actual real canon) went off and after a jump in fright I was off. I went out hard as planned and felt good for the first 15 km, around then the legs started to protest hard but I managed to hold on for the win. The race has a fantastic atmosphere and was really well organised, I would definitely recommend adding it to your race calendar in 2023”

Mount Difficulty Ascent, Saturday, 11 June 2022

Mt Difficulty, Bannockburn, near Cromwell

For more details on this event >> Mount Difficulty Ascent 2022

For results >> Mount Difficulty Ascent 2022 results

Croydon Paton: “Sadly short coursed. climbing was easy. holding back for the 1000m climb. only to be turned right instead of left back up and over nipple hill. running down the 800m of tarmac on the course I pulled a muscle in my glute and grovelled to the finish complete with an ignominious slip and fall in the clay bog in the tailings. Great fun up in the snow.” 

Great photos by Croydon Paton in collage

Andrew Lonie first Leith athlete home

Leith’s Andrew Lonie had an incredible run as he and the other 146 competitors battled through ankle deep snow. He finished as first Vet Man and sixth overall in 2 hours 56 minutes 44 seconds and was the first Leith athlete to finish. The weather was so extreme that for safety reasons the 44km was switched to the 25km as well as the mountain top, which was too extreme

Mt Difficulty Ascent 25km, Overall results
Leith and friends in bold

1 Elliott, Hamish Open (19-39) M 2:33:29
2 Anderson, Tom Open (19-39) M 2:54:36
3 Manderson, Janek Open (19-39) M 2:55:48
4 Linscott, Oliver Open (19-39) M 2:56:26
5 Latham, Lewis Open (19-39) M 2:56:34
6 Lonie, Andrew Vet1 (40-49) M 2:56:44 Leith
53 McLean, Lydia Open (19-39) F 3:55:13
74 Paton, Croydon Vet2 (50-59) M 4:14:35
81 Liddell, David Open (19-39) M 4:24:03
90 Tripp, Isaac Open (19-39) M 4:36:49
93 Caulton, Sarah Open (19-39) F 4:38:02 Leith
92 Tripp, Andrew Vet2 (50-59) M 4:56:22

97 McLean, Dave Vet3 (60+) M 4:41:17 Leith

David Liddell says it was an epic day out!

Was an epic day out! I did the 44km last year and didn’t do so well with injury problems where I couldn’t bend my leg for the last 20km so I came back this year wanting to make a good time. Unfortunately as you know the course was shortened but this did not take away from the stunning beauty of the run but added to it with the extreme weather bearing down on everyone!

In times of extremes I feel the sense that everyone suddenly has an unspoken bond as you are sharing an extraordinary adventure together. I find this with any event but particularly with Mt Difficulty, purely just because how extreme the environment is.

The main highlight for me would usually be the epic climb but today I think the most amazing part was running the water race as it was deep in snow and was snowing quite hard but had an almost airy still to it as it seemed to be sheltered from the wind.

This time, like the last, I had a plethora of problems with missing gear and not taking my phone so got no photos but the most annoying part was when I slipped over and popped my water bladder all down my back, this led to problems later on as I got dehydrated and started to cramp quite badly. Because of this I think I was lucky to be short coursed. Another incident was my long John’s kept falling down so I had to put on a bit of a strip show to get out of them into shorts.

Please do not take these issues as complaints , I think these minor issues are all part of the experience of any challenging race and believe that they should be cherished, or even laughed at, as they are just as important as the good parts. I think the pain is what drives a lot of us to do these things! I will definitely be back next year for another attempted at the 44km!

Highly recommended

Thank you,
David Liddell

Rustic Run or Walk, Saturday, 11 June 2022

Mt Difficulty, Bannockburn, near Cromwell

For results >> Rustic Run or Walk 2022 results

Bryan Staunton, fresh from the Joe Cowie 8km in Dunedin, went to colder climes to tackle the Rustic Run Half-Marathon.  He finished fourth 1 Hour 56 minutes 42 seconds

Leith or Leith friends in bold

1 Warren, Hayden Open (19-39) 1:33:57″
4 Staunton, Bryan Open (19-39) 1:56:42 Leith
19 Goldsmith, Sarah Vet1 (40-49) 3:27:27

Millenium Track Club Run, Sat 4 June 2022

Taieri River Millennium track

Lydia Pattillo gives a beautiful description of the trail run on Saturday

A small group of keen runners and walkers took on the challenge of the Taieri River Millennium track.
Treated to stunning conditions and a surprise rowing regatta to spectate at the beginning of our run, the afternoon was more than picture perfect.
The hills seemed to continue to climb on every turn and many of us began to question the “undulating” description of the trail. However we battled our way up the final big climb to the reward of a stunning view in all directions.
A quick regroup and photoshoot then we were off on the downward section to Taieri Mouth. Arriving in just under an hour we were all pretty pooped and a little daunted by the task of running all the way back.
Nevertheless we took off again before the sundown could beat us and were all surprised to find ourselves at the peak elevation with a little more ease than we had in the first half. Another regroup, then an easy plod back up and down the hills to the Henley side to finish in continued stunning scenes. Absolute serenity with only the peaceful sound of nature as our chorus.
Highly recommend as a great trail run; challenging in parts and caution required in winter or wet but it was deemed by the group as “perfect three peaks training”

Shunters and Grunters Relay, Sat 30 April 2022

Otago Rail Trail, Old Hyde Railway station to the Waipiata Railway Station (Tavern)

This is a 4 person relay along the Historic Otago Central Rail Trail
This event has now taken place
For full results >> Shunters and Grunters Relay

Milford Track Run, Sat 23 April 2022

Milford Track & Milford Sound, South Island, Dunedin

Hayden Scorringe recounts their adventure on the Milford Track on ANZAC weekend

This whole idea came about almost out of the blue, a person who I had never met (Rob Hutchings) posted on the Wild Things NZ Trail Running Group Facebook page that he was going to swim Milford Sound (15km) and then Run Milford Track (55-58km) over Easter and was inviting people to join him. I wasn’t keen on the swim, but wow. However, the run sounded great and I am lucky to be at the right level of fitness to attempt this.

Logistically, this run is not easy. At a minimum, you need a boat trip at end each. Instantly that means you have a deadline – ours was 10 hours. Also, there is about 100km from where the first boat departs (Milford) and the other boat docks (Te Anau Downs), so again another logistical issue.

One week prior to the run, there were to be 6 runners, however, life and covid got in the way of a couple and we were down to 4.

Four almost complete strangers (Rob Stent, Heinrich Eksteen, Neil Trimboy and myself) off on the run of a lifetime. We left Te Anau just after 5am where we headed to Milford to catch our 7.30am boat to the start of the track. We were lucky to have a volunteer driver for this trip, who then dropped our car back at Te Anau Downs and stashed the key for us to collect later – best idea ever. The first boat ride was all of 5 minutes, so by 7.40 we were on track and away running.

Plenty of stops along the way, but nothing too long as we know we had a 5pm boat to meet at the other end. That gave us just over 9 hours. We four strangers all seemed to be about the same level of fitness and were running well for the first 20km or so.
We got to the intersection of the turn off to Sutherland Falls (New Zealand’s highest waterfall) and a decision had to be made as the run in and out to the waterfall would add 45min – 1 hour to our trip. Whilst the boat would be ready at 5pm, it would wait for us for $140 per hour. Neil and I decided this was a once in a lifetime trip, the weather was perfect and the price was worth paying.
We would then re join with the other 2 at the next main hut. This was a great decision as the waterfall was amazing!!

Once back to the main track, the terrain gets a lot more technical and steep. The climb up to the top of Mackinnon pass was tough and slow going. Once over the pass I thought we would easily make up some time on the decent. However, the terrain wasn’t too friendly. Very easy to slip, or twist an ankle, so we took it easy down here. Neil and I rejoined with Rob and Heinrich at Mintaro Hut, they had only been there for about 15 minutes, so we had made good time over the pass.

The last 20km or so was amazing, really nice trails, heaps of waterfalls and the pace got faster than 6min per km (at times).
However, it soon became clear that we were not going to make it to the boat by 5pm and would have to pay for the extra hour wait time. We ended up arriving at Glade Warf just before 6pm, all of us with some unforgettable memories and massive smiles.

All in all a truly once in a lifetime adventure, no rain, minimal clouds and warm enough for just a tee shirt.

Valuable info:

The average run time is around 10 hours (however, has been done in under 6!) 
Allow at least 2 hours to get from Te Anau to Milford
First boat, Milford to start of track – 7.30am Milford Track Water Taxi $40 each – the most expensive 5 min boat ride ever but not a lot of options here.
Second boat, Glade Warf to Te Anau Downs – 5pm Fiordland Outdoors $90 each – is an hour long trip, so much better value for money 🙂
Also, if you are well organised, you can arrange to drop a bag off to the boat head office prior and it will be waiting for you at Glade Warf – clean clothes and a beer or 2 would have been nice.
Hire car (7 seater) – Rad Hire Te Anau $89 per day, but can hire from 730pm-730pm so only one day

Humpridge Running Mission, Sat April 23rd 2022, Anzac Weekend 2022

The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is a 3 day loop walk that takes hikers along the south coast of New Zealand, up to the sub-alpine zone of the Hump Ridge, and over historic viaducts in the heart of native forest

Nolan Hill has written a detailed expressive story along with stunning photographs, things that go wrong and right, of the Threesome Humpridge Day Trek – featuring Brendon Ojala, Jono Bell, Nolan Hill

Read all about it here >>Humpridge Mission Report April 23rd 2022 Nolan Hill

Autumn Rogaine, Highland Events, Sat 23 April 2022

Lindis Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand
For more on this event including full results >> Autumn Rogaine, Sat 23 April 2022

Chantal Whitby’s and Masha Mikhisor’s excellent write-up about their experience in the Autumn Rogaine

On Saturday Masha and I set out on a 12 hour rogaine in the Lindis Valley, held by Highland Events.

When we arrived we marked out our planned route, which quickly went out the window, with us deciding to just make it up as we went along.

Unsurprisingly this didn’t turn out to be the best tactic and come nightfall our focus changed from getting controls to getting back to base before the cutoff. Which we did, with a few minutes to spare!

While we might not have gained the most points, we had an amazing time soaking in the beautiful scenery, running under the stars and bantering with other competitors. Our hard efforts were also rewarded by an awesome hot meal at the end, put on by the local school as a fundraiser. We did 37.6km and 1748m of climbing (although it felt like much more!).

Big shout out to Terry and Stephanie for another great event, it’s these types of events that enable people to get out and enjoy special locations which wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Bring on their 24 hour rogaine in November, in Te Anau!

Three Peaks Mountain Race, Sunday, 27 March 2022

Dunedin, New Zealand

Organised by the Leith Harrier & Athletic Club, Dunedin

For results and race report on this iconic event go to Three Peaks Mountain Race

Three Peaks Orientation Run #2, Sunday 13 March 2022

George Street entrance to Woodhaugh Gardens, Dunedin

26km Orientation Run 2- March 13 – 9am at George St entrance to Woodhaugh
Some 40 or so keen runners fronted up at 9am on Sunday morning for the second and final orientation run of the 2022 Three Peaks 26km Mountain Race.  The runners headed up Leith Valley to join the second part of the 26km course (and last 2 legs of 55km).  Up Leith Valley they went turning off at the over bridge into the City Forest section heading up to the top of Mt Cargill via the government track and bush and forest and Cowan Road. Then they went down to the race finish via Bethunes Gully past Chingford Park and down North Road to finish again at Woodhaugh Gardens. A distance of approximately 20km. We had Danny Baillie leading the faster group of runners, Race Director Steve Tripp lead the slower group of runners whilst Marc Boullé was the tail end charlie ensuring that the last person could run/walk at their own pace and did not get left behind.  In the end everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day out in perfect weather that never threatened to get too hot.  A cool North Easterly provided welcome relief.  Thanks to all who took part and to the organisers and pack leaders.  Now for the real thing on March 27.  Good luck to all those taking part in this big event.

Three Peaks Orientation Run #1, Sunday 6 March 2022

Start George Street entrance to Woodhaugh Gardens, Dunedin

Despite Covid-19 having an impact on numbers, some 35 keen runners took part in this event, which took in the first part of the 26km course up Flagstaff, Swampy, down Morrisons and then back down Leith Valley Rd to the start. Approximately 20km. It was a leisurely run where we all enjoyed the spectacular scenery and got to know the course and have fun at the same time. The weather was gloriously sunny if not a bit hot with a high of 27 degrees Celsius.  The tracks were dry except for the chute section which was a tad boggy.  The group split up into three packs eventually, with Danny Baillie leading the faster runners, Mark O’Neill the medium pace runners and Marc Boullé acting as tail-end-charlie for the slower runners.  No runners were left behind. Thanks to the leaders and the participants for making this a great day out up there on the hills.  On the track up towards Swampy Summit we met Chris Sole and Dave McLean enthusiastically clearing the track of undergrowth in preparation for the big day on the 27 March.  Big ups to them for tackling this tough crucial task under the hot sun

Pigs Backyard Ultra, 10am February 12, 2022

Silverstream reserve, Whare Flat, Dunedin

John Bayne 188.87km, Glenn Thompson 100.65km, Harjinder Singh Chander 80.52km, Dave McLean 26.84km were among the Leith athletes competing

For more details and results >> Pigs Backyard Ultra Website

Chantal’s wonderful Pigs Backyard story

includes a great photograph taken by Brad Spiers

“One afternoon I absent-mindedly put my name down to go in the draw to win a free entry to the inaugural Pigs Backyard Ultra. After I clicked submit I didn’t think much about it until I received an email congratulating me on winning a free entry!

My initial thought was, oh crap. Followed by excitement that I could be part of a new, local event (still accompanied by a slight feeling of trepidation).

I’ve been battling a few injuries over the last year but still really wanted to be part of the race. I knew it would be an incredible event, with great running community vibes, supportive like-minded people, and something not to be missed. I wasn’t disappointed.

However, after struggling to walk after 4km into the race I thought that was it, a DNF after my first lap but I couldn’t bring myself to do it and lined up in the corral for ‘just one more lap’. My plan was to walk the second lap and accept that I wouldn’t make it back for the cut-off.

Much to my surprise my pain started to subside the further I walked, to a point where I managed to jog-walk the rest of the loop within the hour. By the time I was into lap three I was back mainly running, with my pain becoming less and less the further I went. After not running after months it felt phenomenal, you couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. In the end it was my fitness (or lack of) which got me but I’m happy to take that.

I didn’t think running in circles was for me but I’m already looking forward to giving it another shot next year. Such a fabulous event with amazing people. Thanks Steve and Chris for another wicked running adventure!”

Dave McLean – The “Old Man” of the Race 

by Dave McLean

As the old man of the race I managed four laps but the old knee got a bit grumpy and stopped me from carrying on. It’s all good now. Andy Smith needed a bit of a hand, so I volunteered, not knowing he was set to do a miler. He didn’t know that at that stage either. It just happened! I learned how much easier supporting is than racing. I was tucked up in my nice warm sleeping bag while he was out there in the dark and the cold each lap! Glad I did it. The magnificent seven crossing the 100 mile line was awesome. Magnificent six would not have been quite the same. Big hand to Steve Tripp and Chris Taylor for one awesome event, and also to every single person who took part, competing or supporting. Will I be back next year? You bet!

Kepler Challenge and Luxmore Grunt, Saturday 15 January 2022

Kepler Track in Fiordland National Park

For full details and full results >> Kepler Challenge & Luxmore Grunt Facebook 

Kepler Challenge 60km

Leith’s Jason Palmer was the leading Leith athlete finishing 11th overall, 9th in the Open Grade, 10th Male, in a very good time of 5 hours 50 minutes 14 seconds.  Richard Campbell was the next Leith athlete to finish.  He finished in 37th place overall, 25th in the Open Category, 32nd Male, in 6 hours 40 minutes 41 seconds.  Next was John Bayne who finished in 56th place overall, 3rd in the Veteran 50+ category, 45th Male in 6 hours 59 minutes 44 seconds.  Then came Nicola Chisholm in 136th place overall, 29th in the Open Category, 39th Female, in 8 hours 1 minute 12 seconds.  Next was Hayden Scorringe in 141 place overall, 64th in the Open Category, 100th Male in 8 hours 4 minutes 39 seconds.  Next was Glenn Thompson who finished in 145th overall, 65th in the Open Category, 103rd Male, in 8 hours 7 minutes 1 second. Then next was Croydon Paton who finished in 159th place overall, 15th Veteran 50+, 111th Male, in 8 hours 16 minutes 6 seconds.

Luxmore Grunt 27km

Michael Pullar Leith affiliated athlete finished in 30th place overall, 23rd in the Open Category, 23 Male, in 2 hours 38 minutes 20 seconds.

Hayden Scorringe reflects on his 8:04 Kepler Challenge 60km run

About 400 runners set off at 6am on the lakeshore of Te Anau. Full of energy and running freely. The first 5km is reasonably flat – a very nice flowing trail. After that it gets significantly harder to Luxmore hut, thinking the worst is mostly behind you – wrong. The track gets rocky and even steeper. 

A couple of false summits and then the descent starts and feels like it never ends! Although I was trying to hold back here it still kills the quads as you descend for ages! It seemed to take an age to get to Iris Burn hut. From here apparently the track is flat 🤣. Definitely not! 

The last half of the race is all very undulating, and I really struggled to get into a rhythm. The last 15-20k I was running on empty. Maybe a lack of training? 

I had great intentions of trying to push a bit harder on the last 5km but my legs said no. All in all, stoked to tick another massive challenge off the list. 

If I didn’t stop to take so many bloody photos I would have hit my goal time too 🤔 


Jason Palmer’s Kepler Challenge 60km – a real bucket list race!

The Kepler was a race that I had wanted to do for several years, a real bucket list race. The remoteness of the course, the adventure, the altitude all appealed to me.

The race started at 6.00am in the morning and the pace went out at what I thought was a good speed. I held back as I was aware that there was plenty of ground still to cover. I reached the bottom of the climb to Luxmore and settled into a nice rhythm up the hill. I knew from my training that I wanted to reach Luxmore Hut in approximately 80 minutes. I passed a significant number of athletes up the climb and reached the hut alongside three-time race winner Nancy Jiang in 79 minutes.

After the gear check I made my way over the top past the two emergency shelters. This section was the most difficult for me as I wasn’t used to the loose gravel and uneven terrain. I found that I was consistently getting passed by other athletes over this section, however, I didn’t want to risk a broken ankle, therefore I held back.

After a gruelling descent, I reached Irisburn Hut with a group of five athletes. With 32km to go, I knew that this was the section where I would do well. I settled into a nice rhythm through the checkpoint at Rocky Point and eventually at Motorau Hut. From there I knew that I had 6km to go until I reached Rainbow Reach where Megan and the girls were waiting.

After I passed the girls, I knew I had 9km to go so I gave it everything. I managed to pass three more athletes along this section. Crossing the control gates and the finish line was an amazing feeling. The goal was sub 6 hours, I managed 5.50 and a 10th place finish which I was stoked with.

This is a must do race for anyone who is after an adventure. My advice for training would be not to count the miles you run each week, don’t stress about NOT meeting weekly goals. Go out and run in the hills and have fun – the fitness is a by-product. Oh and having a really supportive partner helps as well.