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2 COMPLETED EVENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Visit Running Calendar New Zealand 

For the latest updates on upcoming trail runs around New Zealand

For a full list of selected upcoming events visit our Upcoming Events or Calendar (road, trail, track, cross country & more)

Selected upcoming events may feature here

COMPLETED EVENTS

Mount Difficulty Ascent & Rustic Run, Saturday 8 June 2024

Mt Difficulty, Bannockburn, near Cromwell

An extreme marathon or a half marathon, normally run alongside the Rustic Run and Walk

Visit Website >> Mount Difficulty Ascent

Results >> Trail Results 2024

Leith Results and Reports

Rustic Run Marathon Solo

Vet 1 (40 – 49) 1 Female 1 Mel Aitken 3:55:22.72

Rustic Run Half Marathon Solo

Open (19 – 39) 3 Female 1 Alice Cuthbert 1:53:35.04

Open (19 – 39) 5 Male 5 David Liddell 2:01:00.48

Vet 2 (50 – 59) 2 Female 2 Sue Hendry 2:14:06.58

Vet 3 (60 – 100) 2 Male 12 Richard Hendry 2:26:48.11

Vet 3 (60 – 100) 3 Male  Steve Aitken 2:30:02

Rustic Run Half Marathon Team

Female Team 1 Rusty Gals: Emma Wylie Julia Devereux, Emily Thomas, Claudia

Sole 1:58:07.15

Mt Difficulty Ascent 25km

Open (19 – 39) 14 Female 2 Stephanie Wilson 3:08:33.25

Open (19 – 39) 26 Female 4 Angela Bishop 3:29:03.49

Open (19 – 39) 25 Male 20/77 Andrew Robinson 3:18:01.27

Vet 1 (40 – 49) 8/32 Male 36 Nigel Scarth 3:41:15.18

 Mt Difficulty Ascent 44km

Vet 1 (40 – 49) 2 Male 7 Chris Bisley 5:32:07.31

Vet 2 (50 – 59) 2 Male 20 Steve Tripp 6:19:02.14

Open (19 – 39) 30 Male 42 Isaac Trip 7:33:21.86

Vet 2 (50 – 59) 8/12 Male 45 Andrew Tripp 7:45:33.37 (52/81)

Vet 2 (50 – 59) 9/12 Male 49 Christopher Holmes 8:07:21.17 (61/81)

Vet 3 (60 – 100) 1/1 Male 57 Dave McLean 8:56:29.29 (76/81)

Chris Bisley reflects on his Mt Difficulty Ascent race effort 

43km, 3150m vert, 5hrs 32mins, 7th overall / 2nd masters male.

 “Overall, a really good day. Both the 25k and 44k races started and ran the first 2 climbs together to the 16km mark. I followed out a strong group of 25k runners and felt comfortable on the climbs. Stunning terrain around that area, steep, steep, step climbs. Real hands and feet climbing, and the descents were of equal gradient.

At the 16k mark the 25k and 44k fields separated. This led the 44k field to the major Mt Difficulty (1000m vert in 3km). This for me, was 55mins of scrambling, hands and feet climbing, grunting and moving from flag to flag as there is no track. Like a 55min sand dune. The entire ascent I was chasing a figure about 2-3mins above / in front of me. I didn’t catch that individual until 2/3rds down the descent and luckily I put in the effort to do so as it was Louis Schindler (another strong and experienced ultra runner), we paired up to continue a solid pace and picked up another couple of runners. Pushing the following climbs and descents at a mod hard tempo and fighting for a 5.30hrs finish time. 

Louis finally broke me on the last 1km of steep downhill and I no longer had leg speed to drag him back through the sluicing trails near the finish. Apart from that moment of weakness, I am happy with how I approached and undertook the race. Day after, some muscular soreness (through quads from the long fast downhills), otherwise have pulled up well.”

 

UTA50, Saturday 18 May 2024

SCENIC WORLD, KATOOMBA

Huge congratulations to the Campbell’s from Leith Harriers who have just finished the Ultra Trail Australia 50km ⛰️ 🏃🏽‍♀️ 🏃🏻
Margie came home in an incredible third place for the women 🥉 and Richard was not far behind, well done 👏🏼

Margie Campbell 04:52:35 GLOBAL RANK 25TH CAT RANK 2ND GENDER RANK 3RD
Richard Campbell 05:19:28 GLOBAL RANK 59TH CAT RANK 6TH GENDER RANK 50TH

Podium and selected results (together with UTA100 further below) with Leith in bold 

50.2km 3642m Climbing

1st Charlie HAMILTON AU 20-34M 03:57:19
2nd David HAUNSCHMIDT NZ 35-39M 03:59:41
3rd Clément DURANCE FR 20-34M 04:05:16

19th 1st Kate AVERY GB 20-34W 04:46:25
22nd 2nd Sarah-Jayne MILLER AU 40-44W 04:49:13
25th 3rd Margie CAMPBELL AU 40-44W 04:52:35 (2nd Category)

100.4km 4252m Climbing

520th 442nd Joel THOMAS NZ 40-44M 16:25:39 (82nd Category)
535th 79h Signe Stanbridge NZ 40-44W 16:33:05 (Category 24th)

 

ANZAC DAY RUN, Thursday 25 April 2024

Soldier’s Monument, Otago Pensinsula

Leith and friends take a run up to the Soldier’s Monument in honour of those who served in the ANZAC forces during both World Wars

Photos by Nic Bathgate, Ali Craigie and Gisela Sole

 

The Routeburn Classic, Saturday, 20 April 2024

Routeburn Track, New Zealand

The Routeburn Classic is an adventure run over the world renowned Routeburn Track traversing through two New Zealand national parks

Dave McLean & Rachel Olsen

Leith’s evergreen Dave McLean continues on his amazing 70+ career as an athlete.  He ran 5 hours 18 minutes 45 for the tough 32km distance and he will be completing in the Lovelock Relays on Saturday 27 April 2024 where he will run one leg of 1500m – on the other end of the distance spectrum. Dunedin’s Rachel Olsen also had a fantastic run completing the distance in 4 hours 49 minutes 23 seconds. See the selected results below: 

The Routeburn Classic 32km Results with Leith and local athletes highlighted

1 TOBY BATCHELOR (#16) 02:48:02 (18-39) (1) Male (1)

2 DOUGLAS GOLDING (#127) 03:03:41 (18-39) (2) Male (2)

3 LOUIS SCHINDLER (#406) 03:07:20 40-49) (1) Male (3)

4 JOHN SHARROCK (#313) 03:10:50 (18-39) (3) Male (4)

5 MICHAEL MCGLEENAN (#221)03:15:09 (18-39) (4) Male (5)

6 SARAH DOUGLAS (#81) 03:24:07 (18-39) (1) Female (1)

9 KELSEY LEWIS (#195) 03:28:49 (18-39) (2) Female (2)

11 RUBY KNIGHT (#186) 03:32:44 (18-39) (3) Female (3 )

121 RACHEL OLSEN (#404) 04:49:23 (18-39) (22) Female (32)

185 DAVE MCLEAN (#228) 05:18:45 Guru (60+) (10) Male (126)

 

Shunters and Grunters Relay 2024, Saturday 13 April 2024

Hill City-University Harriers organised another successful Shunters and Grunters Relay! Results are now available here: https://hillcity.org.nz/shunters-and-grunters-2024-results/
Congratulations to the winning team: Paul Anderson, David Mackle, Lara Findlater, and Leon Miyahara!  Well done to Leith’s Jacques Brown whose team finished fourth

 

The 41st 3 Peaks Mountain Race, The 56km event is also the NZ short course trail running championship. 17 March 2024

Dunedin, New Zealand

New Zealand and Otago Short Course Trail Champs Full Results >> Trail Results 2024

Visit the website for results >> 3 Peaks Mountain Race

Kerr, Wilson claim Three Peaks honours >> ODT Online Report by Wayne Parsons, Monday 18 March 2024

Over 540 hit trail in race for glory >> ODT Online Report by Matthew Littlewood, Monday 18 March 2024

Full Results >> Trail Results 2024

Report summary

Emerson’s 56km Race 3PEAKS +1

The 56km Ultra Race was also the Athletics New Zealand Short Course Championships. The race was a little longer this year rounding out to about 56km. The winners in the various categories in the Athletics New Zealand and Athletics Otago Championship are now available Full Results >> Trail Results 2024

The 56km race and NZ Championship 2024 was won by Queenstown (Queenstown Athletic Club) Male Senior 20 to 34 athlete Cameron Kerr in 5 hours 11 minutes 2 seconds who had a titanic battle with second placed M20-34 athlete Thomas Barnes (Wellington – Victoria University ) who finished just over a minute behind in 5 hours 12 minutes 22 seconds. Third was the Male Masters 35-49 athlete Dwight Grieve (Te Anau -Fiordland Athletic Club) in 5 hours 25 minutes 26 seconds. He was running in the Open Grade therefore winning the bronze in the Championships Open Grade.  First Female across the line and 2024 winner of the NZ Championships Open Grade was Female Masters 35-49 athlete Alison Wilson (Wellington – Wellington Scottish Athletics Club) in 5 hours 59 seconds 52 seconds followed closely by second placed Female Senior 20 to 34 athlete Hannah Fletcher (Wellington – non-Athletics NZ registered runner) in 6 hours 1 minute 22 seconds and third placed Female Masters 35-49 athlete Margie Campbell (Dunedin – Leith) in 6 hours 1 minute 46 seconds. Campbell therefore won silver in the Open Grade Championship as the second Athletics NZ registered runner. Julia Chamberlain from Fiordland Athletic Club finished in 6:04:25 winning bronze in the Open Grade as the third Athletics NZ registered runner. For all Athletics NZ and Otago Championship including the Master’s grades results please see >> Trail Results 2024

Shoe Clinic 26km Classic

First across the line in the iconic 26km race was Auckland’s Male Open 20-34 athlete Logan Griffin in 2 hours 10 minutes 4 seconds. Second was Hill City-University’s Male Junior U20 athlete George Hamilton in 2 hours 14 minutes 36 seconds and not far behind in third place was the 2022 winner Male Open 20-34 athlete Dunedin’s Alexander Gorrie in 2 hours 15 minutes 42 seconds. First female to finish was the Female Open 20-34 athlete Sophie Shallard (Riversdale) in 2 hours 39 minutes 10 seconds followed closely by second placed Female Open 20-34 athlete Claudia Sole (Dunedin – Leith) in 2 hours 40 minutes 52 seconds. Third was the Female Masters 35-49 athlete Kristy Eyles (Dunedin – Leith) in 2 hours 43 minutes 19 seconds. Kristy was the first female to finish the 26km race in 2022. 

DK Architecture 11km

This was the second running of the new 11km route. There are no age grades in this event. First across the line was Caversham’s Leon Miyahara in a record breaking 51 minutes 8 seconds. Close behind was last year’s winner and previous record holder Danny Baillie (Dunedin – Leith) in 52 minutes 48 seconds also breaking the record he had set last year. Third was Leith’s Tadhg Ryan Charleton in 54 minutes 59 seconds.  First female across the line was Caitlin Dent (Manapouri) in 1 hour 2 minutes 48 seconds. Second was Harriet Heaphy in 1 hour 6 minutes 20 seconds and third was Annie Heron in 1 hour 15 minutes 39 seconds.

Leith Athletes Results and Report

Emerson’s 56km Race 3PEAKS +1 – Leith results

Please note that the grade terms for the NZ and Otago Champions differ from the 3 Peaks Mountain Race terms eg. MM60+ (Master Men 60+) = Male Guru 60+

This results in a lot of confusion so for a breakdown of the NZ and Otago Championship Results which again has different terminology so it is best to view the results. New Zealand and Otago Short Course Trail Champs Full Results >> Trail Results 2024

Margie Campbell was the first Leith athlete to cross the line in this tough event and was 8th overall. Her time was an amazing 6 hours 1 minutes 46 seconds and she was second in the Female Masters 35-49 grade (first in the NZ Champs Women Open grade and first in the Otago W35-49 grade) and 3rd Female overall. Jack Tisch won the Otago Championship Senior Men 20-34 title in 8:33:46. He also was fourth in the NZ Championship Men Open Grade. Laura Bungard won the Otago Champs Open Women grade in 6:55:38. Lydia Pattillo won the MW35-39 NZ Championships and was second in the Otago Champs MW35-49 grade in 6:55:38. Masters Women 40-44 1 Anna O’Byrne won the MW40-44 NZ Champs and was second in the Otago Champs MW35-49 grade in 6:58:57. Lee Flowers took the MM50-54 NZ and MM50-64 Otago Championship titles in 8:16:07. Dave McLean finished 2nd in the Male Gurus 60+ grade and won the MM65-69 NZ and MM60+ Otago Championship titles in 9 hours 38 minutes 11. This was faster than his 2023 winning time of 10 hours 5 minutes 53 seconds. 

8 MARGIE CAMPBELL (#870) 06:01:46 MW 35-49 (2) Female (3)
17 RICHARD CAMPBELL (#871) 06:27:28 MM 35-49 (6) Male (12)
27 PHIL PETERSEN (#859) 06:54:23 MM 35-49 (10) Male (20)
28 LYDIA PATTILLO (#849) 06:55:38 MW 35-49 (5) Female (8)
29 LAURA BUNGARD (#834) 06:55:38 SW 20 to 34 (4) Female (9)
30 ANNA O’BYRNE (#905) 06:58:57 MW 35-49 (6) Female (10)
52 JAMIE GARDNER (#840) 07:59:24 SM 20 to 34 (16) Male (36)
56 KATE THOMAS (#846) 08:09:25 MW 35-49 (8) Female (17)
58 JAMIE WARD (#800) 08:14:01 MM 35-49 (17) Male (40)
61 LEE FLOWERS (#914) 08:16:07 MM 50-59 (6) Male (43)
70 JACK TISCH (#868) 08:33:46 SM 20 to 34 (21) Male (51)
71 DARRYL SUTTON (#906) 08:34:21 MM 35-49 (24) Male (52)
87 CHANTAL WHITBY 09:25:45 MW 35-49 (12) Female (25)
89 DAVE MCLEAN (#854) 09:38:11 MM 60+ (2) Male (64)
94 VIC ARTATES (#865) 10:07:34 MM 35-49 (31) Male (67)
95 WAYNE STEPHENSON 10:25:16 MM 50-59 (8) Male (68)

Shoe Clinic 26km Classic

Leith had a plethora of podium finishers in the Classic. New Leith member Nathan Shanks had an excellent run winning the Male Masters 35-49 grade in 2 hours 19 minutes. He was 4th Male and also 4th overall.  He was one of only 4 athletes to crack the 2 hours 20 minute mark this year. Dan Hayman finished second in the Male Under 20 grade in 2 hours 20 minutes 59 seconds. He finished sixth overall. Another new member Rocky Allan finished 3rd in the Male Under 20 grade in 2 hours 26 minutes 17 seconds. He was 10th overall and 10th Male runner. Again another new member Ben Pigou finished second in the Male Masters 35-49 grade in 2 hours 27 minutes 31 seconds. He was 11 overall and 11th Male runner. Eighteenth across the line was long time Leith runner Andrew Lonie in 2 hours 32 minutes 43 seconds. He won the Male Masters 55-59 grade. Claudia Sole finished 2nd in the Female 20-34 grade in 2 hours 40 minutes 52 seconds. She was the second female runner overall and was 27th overall. New member Kristy Eyles won the Female Masters 35-49 grade in 2 hours 43 minutes 19 seconds. She finished as third Female overall, and 30th overall.  Agnetha Korevaar was second in the Female Masters 35-49 grade in 2 hours 43 minutes 55 seconds. She was 4th Female overall and 32 runner overall.

4 NATHAN SHANKS (#353) 02:19:40 MM 35-49 (1) Male (4)
10 ROCKY ALLAN (#103) 02:26:17 MU20 (3) Male (10)
11 BEN PIGOU (#296) 02:27:31 MM 35-49 (2) Male (11)
15 CHRIS BISLEY (#472) 02:29:18 MM 35-49 (4) Male (15)
18 ANDREW LONIE (#437) 02:32:43 MM 50-59 (1) Male (18)
19 AARON EYLES (#349) 02:34:33 MM 35-49 (5) Male (19)
20 LIAM TURK (#367) 02:35:01 SM 20-34 (11) Male (20)
27 CLAUDIA SOLE (#125) 02:40:52 SW 20-34 (2) Female (2)
28 RYAN WHITBURN (#347) 02:42:09 SM 20-34 (14) Male (26)
29 MICA GOLDSMITH-LONIE 02:42:58 SM 20-34 (15) Male (27)
30 KRISTY EYLES (#350) 02:43:19 MW 35-49 (1) Female (3)
32 AGNETHA KOREVAAR 02:43:55 MW 35-49 (2) Female (4)
38 STEPHEN JOHNSON 02:47:26 SM 20-34 (17) Male (31)
42 ANDREW WILSON (#261) 02:49:07 MM 35-49 (12) Male (35)
43 STEPHANIE WILSON (#400)02:49:35 SW 20-34 (6) Female (8)
44 ALICE CUTHBERT (#330) 02:49:41 SW 20-34 (7) Female (9)
45 KATIE SMITH (#471) 02:50:22 MW 35-49 (3) Female (10)
50 SARAH BRYANT (#262) 02:51:43 MW 35-49 (4) Female (12)
61 WAYNE PORTEOUS 02:58:08 MM 60+ (1) Male (46)
62 BRYAN STAUNTON 02:58:15 SM 20-34 (25) Male (47)
63 DAVID LIDDELL (#322) 02:58:37SM 20-34 (26) Male (48)
67 JACQUES BROWN 02:59:55 MM 35-49 (18) Male (51)
69 PHIL PAGE (#379) 03:00:26 MM 50-59 (3) Male (53)
96 NINA BATUCAN (#192) 03:09:39 SW 20-34 (17) Female (25)
142 JOSHUA RADEMEYER 03:23:03 SM 20-34 (49) Male (102)
143 CAITLIN O’DONNELL 03:23:03 SW 20-34 (29) Female (41)
162 SARAH CAULTON (#397) 03:27:47 SW 20-34 (35) Female (47)
171 RACHEL OLSEN (#131) 03:29:54 MW 35-49 (12) Female (53)
174 SUE CUTHBERT (#231) 03:31:29 MW 50-59 (3) Female (54)
175 CHRIS CLARK (#531) 03:31:34 MM 35-49 (41) Male (121)
181 HARJINDAR SINGH 03:33:25 SM 20-34 (61) Male (125)
212 MANYA SABHERWAL 03:42:11 MW 35-49 (18) Female (73)
244 EMILY HARRIS (#316) 03:51:21 MW 35-49 (25) Female (93)
264 KELLY TOTH (#289) 03:57:09 SW 20-34 (68) Female (105)
286 CLAIRE CHARLETON 04:08:39 SW 20-34 (72) Female (119)
290 GEORGIA MAYER (#205) 04:11:55 SW 20-34 (75) Female (123)
297 RACHAEL MCKINNEY 04:17:07 MW 50-59 (12) Female (127)
304 KATE ROBERTS (#328) 04:20:12 SW 20-34 (77) Female (131)
359 RICHARD PARKER 05:38:31 MM 60+ (9) Male (189)

DK Architecture 11km

Last year’s winner Leith’s Danny Baillie took second place in a PB 52 minutes 48 seconds. He was second overall. Leith’s Tadhg Ryan Charleton took third place in 54 minutes 59 seconds

2 DANNY BAILLIE (#51) 00:52:48 All Ages (2) Male (2)
3 TADHG RYAN CHARLETON00:54:59 All Ages (3) Male (3)
8 ROWAN HAMILTON (#42) 01:07:14 All Ages (6) Male (6)
11 ARCHIE MCKINLAY (#41) 01:09:19 All Ages (9) Male (9)

What day out that was – LEE FLOWERS reflects on his 3PEAKS +1 Ultra run to Chris Sole

What day out that was – perfect weather conditions! Actually it was perfect for me, not too hot, overcast for most of the day and I didn’t mind the odd shower or too, which was a stark contrast to my last adventure 4 weeks ago (which was far too hot for a Dunedinite)

Having completed the Tarawera miler just over a month ago and coming out of it fairly battered up, both physically and mentally, I had no intentions of entering the three peaks this year. However, with only a few days left before race day, I hit the entry button on the web site.. Why ?

A lot of people I know ask me WHY, why do we take part in these events that to them seem like madness. There is no simple answer to that and I’m sure everyone has their own reasons but your Soleswatch email Chris (Sole) and the reports from others sums it up for me.

It’s such a special running community we have here in Dunedin, something I have never really encountered before, especially as running is perceived as an individual sport.

My reason for running this year was almost a bit of FOMO but also wanting more, it’s like a drug in a way, I can’t put into words exactly why I enter these events, but it enriches my life, gives me a sense of purpose as well as achievement.

I knew my body hadn’t recovered from Tarawera but at the same time I wanted to be part of that experience again, of being amongst like minded people out there in nature facing the challenges ahead both mentally and physically. It’s such a positive atmosphere and energy, from the runners, walkers, volunteers, supporters and the organizers – who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by that ? More people need to experience this positive energy in their lives, the world would be a better place for it.

Yes I struggled out there, once I started climbing Swampy ridge in all that mud, I knew I was starting to feel the fatigue had already in my legs and body in general from the last few weeks but I wasn’t bothered about the time nor the placing I was just happy to finish in one piece, which I managed to achieve (I think).

A huge shout out again to the volunteers, specially Donna for the hugs at the tunnel and again at the foot of Mt Cargill, to the runners and the banter, some of which had me in stitches (not sure who they were) but they reconnected and reminisced about a first kiss in 1994, to Nigel (Scarth), who kept me going for the last 20K as we kept passing one another throughout our highs and lows and to all the organizers and supporters, it’s a special race/event and just hope it keeps continuing in the same manner.

Chris (Sole), you should take a lot of credit from what is happening here in our own backyard, with your energy and all inclusive approach, I’m sure I can speak for most of us, in saying that you encourage us and believe in us to do these things we thought as “not possible” but also together as a community – long may it continue.

RACHAEL MCKINNEY was in her own words “wedded to the bitumen” but instead tackled the 3PEAKS +1

This time last year I was scrolling through Strava marvelling at the efforts of the hardy souls who tackled the many many hundreds of metres of climb and descent to get from Woodhaugh Gardens to Chingford Park …the long way. I’d done that kind of thing in the distant past but my Dunedin running career was resolutely wedded to the bitumen, regularly scaling elevation heights of no more than 10 meters most days. I’d thought about doing it … jeez I even entered the 26km, before emailing Steve the race director to explain candidly that I wasn’t going to do it after all … cos I didn’t want to. So, my contribution to Three Peaks in its 40 th year was confined to dressing up in 80s gym gear, dancing to Olivia Newton-John, filling water cups and dispensing lollies … a critical role to be sure, but not me running the race.
Fast forward 6 months and for some reason I decide it’s a good idea to do a Backyard Ultra down in Brighton …whatever one of those was! That kick started a bit of a crazed period of trail running, the Coastal Classic (not Papatowai … I draw the line at sand) Crush the Cargill, Pigs Backyard Ultra, a few power walks up the Pineapple Track and hey presto! this year I’m toeing the line at the start of the 2024 Three Peaks 26km mountain race.
Runners can be a coy bunch when they want to, it’s all “yeah I’ll just be happy to finish …” while secretly
harbouring dreams of crossing the finish line, arms aloft as the timing clock registers x:59 (insert your own preferred initial digit at this point ��) and I thought a first go at 4 hours … or let’s face the infinitely better looking 3:59:59 would be a desirable outcome.
Of course once you are out there and the brutal reality of the effort required, perhaps your own training
shortfalls, lack of endurance, realisation that trail running is a wonderfully tough sport that really does just expose everything about what you are, and are not, physically able to do, whether you are 25, 45 or 65, and getting round in once piece before everyone has gone home quickly becomes not only the realistic goal but an outcome you know will still bring tears to your eyes!
But here’s the kicker, it just doesn’t matter … because suddenly you find your self surrounded by a few
hundred kindred souls sharing stories (on the downhill) and heavy breathing (on the uphill) on some of the most glorious trails New Zealand has to offer. Suddenly you emerge from the tree line at (ok not quite) the top of the Pineapple Track and see views of your beloved city that take the last of your laboured breath away.
Suddenly you’re knee deep in mud, sliding down Morrisons, struggling to stay upright never mind run.
Suddenly you get a hug from your running buddy who’s marshalling, and suddenly Chris Sole is urging you on to tackle that Third Peak. Ahhh that Third Peak … Mount Cargill, Kapukataumahaka, which according to Māori legend shows the profile of a prominent warrior; and what a fight it puts up when you get there. Not because it’s the steepest climb on the course … I think (and correct me if I’m wrong) that’s reserved for the big slog up the Pineapple Track back when 4 hours still looked like a possibility … but because by the time you get there, three falls and two peaks later, the quiet complaints from your body have escalated to become a loud persistent cry to Stop. Moving. But you don’t, I didn’t … and not just because I had to get back to my car somehow. Yes, it might be some of the slowest uphill walking I’ve ever done, but as the sun broke through the trees and a light rain was reflected in its rays I really did think – at least for a moment – Best. Fun. Ever. Then that madness passed as the 55km runners (let’s not even go there!) started to overtake.
Eventually, eventually, eventually you get to Cowan Rd, and the big telecom tower hovers into view … not long till the summit and the chance to let gravity take over one more time. Luckily thanks to Crush the Cargill back in December I know this bit of the track and I’ve always been a bit of a brave downhill runner; so there I was having virtually clambered on my hands and knees up one side of Mount Cargill, freefalling down the other and passing a few more cautious runners on the way. My quads did not thank me the next day.
All good things come to an end, and pretty soon things levelled out at Bethune’s Gully and the glorious descent was quickly followed by the longest 2km road run of my life. After 4 hours and 17 minutes I crossed the footbridge from Dryden Street and into Chingford Park to the finish. Apart from the usual and hugely deserved volley of enormous thanks to everyone who makes this event happen there’s only one thing left to say really …
I finished the Three Peaks 26km Mountain Race, what a bloody awesome result

NATHAN SHANKS reflects on his first place in the Masters 35-39 grade (overall 4th) for the 26km Classic

The day went well (surprisingly well), the recent rain in the week leading up to the race made the track conditions slower and a lot wetter & boggier this year especially through swampy and everyone’s favourite “the chute” which changed the race dynamics a bit as it was clear who was adept at still maintaining good speed through those slower muddier sections. There were a lot of entries this year which was great to see and a big contingent of Leith singlets as we eagerly awaited that gun to go off. I started ok and made my way up Ross Creek where I didn’t try to overcook things but it became apparent, when I was climbing the ruins, that my hill legs were pretty flat (partly due to not running an awful lot of hills leading up to the race bar a couple of good hilly long runs) so I knew the climbing was gunna let me down and it became more clear as I was heading up one of my personal faves the grunty Pineapple Track! Had a good run over to Flaggy and was able to stretch the legs out nicely on the short 2k downhill / flatter section then grinded my up the nuggity steep swampy section to the part where it joins the power line track. Got to Swampy in 1:03 which is about what I expected and didn’t feel too bad all things considered and kept up with my fuelling (which was tailwind nutrition). Then I was on the first decent which went well for the first 2k (took a precision gel) but then the pace dropped dramatically down the boggy chute where i am not the fastest down there in drier conditions. Looking at the splits I lost a lot of time, about a good minute to the guys who were in front of me (Dan Hayman and Tom Heaton). Lots of swinging off branches like tarzan and wishing they’d find another part to link back onto Leith Valley which after a wee while was where I found myself. Had a solid run from there to where Chris (Sole) and some cheerful supporters were and made my way up the last climb. Actually had a decent run up to cowan rd and could see Tom (Heaton) before we headed up through the last forest. Came out onto Cowan Rd and caught Tom (put me in 6th) as we got into the final climb to cargill and felt relatively strong then the final descent, yay! Time to finish strong all the way to the finish (which can be hard on tired legs and with all that climbing you’ve done) but I managed to do just that and caught Dan (Hayman) about 1.5k down Bethunes (5th), then a guy called Theo (Rousselet) about 1k out from the finish running side by side and me thinking this is gunna be a sprint finish here as both of us weren’t letting up. Once we turned right then a final left, I just went, then got to the grass and pinned my ears back and probably glad I did those 2 x 10ks and the 5k to use that so called track speed to finish fast. Held him off to finish 4th Overall and a surprise first victory in my new masters category as it was the age you are on the day not the age you entered as Steve said. So stoked with that but also happy to run sub 2:20 which was the goal. Was great to be back at 3 Peaks which is one of my favourites and good to see a great turnout from the Leith guys and lasses and everyone ran very well by the looks of it and did an awesome job. Cheers to Steve and the gang for putting on another great 3 Peaks plus all the marshalls and everyone behind the scenes! See ya there next year 👍🔵⚪

 

MOTATAPU, SATURDAY 2 MARCH 2024

Motatapu, New Zealand

Direct Results 2024 link >> Motatapu 2024 Results

A bunch of Leith runners and our pals headed over to Arrowtown for yesterday’s Motatapu trail running events. Special mention to Claudia Sole coming third female in the Miners Trail race 🥉
Among many others, Ben Pigou, Aaron Eyles, Kristy Eyles, Steph Wilson and Alice Cuthbert all showed absolute class with great results in the marathon distance. See their results below:

Leith Results

UDC Finance Miners Trail 15km

AARON EYLES (#2140), NET TIME: 01:27:43, PLACE 9 OF 520, MALE 9 OF 176, 40-49 1st OF 33

CLAUDIA SOLE (#2406), NET TIME: 01:33:04, PLACE 14 OF 520, FEMALE 3 OF 344, 19-29 3rd OF 58

Allpress Espresso Trail Marathon 42km

BEN PIGOU (#388) GUN TIME: 03:42:34, PLACE 7 OF 452, MALE 6 OF 230, 30-39 4th OF 68

KRISTY EYLES (#161), GUN TIME: 04:12:24, PLACE 21 OF 452, FEMALE 4 OF 222, 40-49 2nd OF 65

STEPHANIE WILSON (#547), GUN TIME: 04:20:37, PLACE 30 OF 452, FEMALE 6 OF 222, 19-29 2nd OF 39

ALICE CUTHBERT (#119), GUN TIME: 04:41:02, PLACE 50 OF 452, FEMALE 11 OF 222, 19-29 4th OF 39

 

Papatowai Challenge, Saturday 24 February 2024

Papatowai Challenge, Catlins, New Zealand

Leith’s Nic Bathgate finished second overall in 58 minutes 20 seconds, whilst Nathan Shanks finished 4th overall and 3rd in the Open Men’s grade.  A full report will be out soon! See the full Leith results further below:

Papatowai Challenge Race Report from Margie

“Richard and I have been wanting to do this race for a few years now with a lot of our running friends telling us how wonderful it is, and they were so right! It lived up to all our expectations.

A very civilised start time allows competitors to drive down on the day to Papatowai. It was cloudy and lightly spitting with rain, but very warm. Everyone was very comfortable in singlets. A “Ready,set, go” started us off along the road and over the bridge before peeling off to the right and along a bush track. Hard to pass people but a nice way to get the legs rolling along.

We popped out onto the beach and fortunately I had Aaron Eyles who has done this course countless time overtake me so I knew just to follow his line along the hard packed sand.

A long run along the beach but it gave you time to have a look around. Apparently deer come down onto the beach to eat the seaweed here!

Getting to the northern end of the beach a quick pop in through the sand dunes then onto a 4WD track that gradually climbs up through the bush. A bit slippery on the rocks and mud but very runnable in race flats.

Regretting at this stage just how fast I went out along the beach as the legs and lungs started to burn and there was a lot of climbing to go. An aid station marks where it meets a gravel farm road so you could open out a bit more here. More climbing but nothing too steep. I was very much looking forward to the downhill, particularly as Richard had just come past me and I thought I could make up some time on the descent. But Richard had his race face on and was charging after Liam so I didn’t see him again until the finish line.

There was a really cool moment when we were coming up behind some walkers and what looked like a very leggy dog. On second look that wasn’t a dog, it was someone’s pet fallow deer! It had a very pretty green collar on and was trotting along in the race. Only in New Zealand! I ran past it but maybe another kilometre on I heard someone approaching really fast behind me- turned and looked and it was Bambi! It finally decided it was all a bit much and took off into the bush.

Back down on the flat it was only 2 and a bit k’s to the finish line. Definitely a cool race and one we will be back for next year.”

Mostly Leith results

Open Men

2nd Nic Bathgate 58:50 (overall place 2)

3rd Nathan Shanks 1:00:25 (overall place 4)

5th Liam Turk 1:03:43 (overall place 6th)

14th David Liddell 1:16:21 (Overall place 28)

23rd Ashim  1:41:49 (overall place 88th)

MM40-49

2nd Richard Campbell 1:04:14 (overall place 7th)

3rd Aaron Eyles 1:05:29 (overall place 8th)

8th Darryl Sutton 1:20:26 (overall place 37th)

9th Matt Johnson 1:20:32 (overall place 38)

MM50-59

1st Simon Leaning 1:07:33 (overall place 12)

2nd Phill Page 1:15:23 (overall place 24)

MM60+

6th Dave McLean 1:38:18 (overall place 84)

Open Women

1st Alice Cuthbert 21 1:13:44 1 (overall place 21)

15th Imogen Holmstead-Scott 1:59:31 (overall place 131)

MW35-44

1st Margie Campbell 1:05:29 1 (overall place 8th)

2nd Kirsty Eyles 1:09:52 2 (overall place 15)

11th Lucy Marr 1:36:22 (overall place 80)

MW45-59

6th Emily Harris 1:27:05 (overall place 57)

Walk

19th Hilary Lawrence 2:22:33 (overall place 29)

94th Judith Bateup 2:54:03 (overall place 115)

 

Tarawera UTMB, 17/18 February 2024

Rotorua, New Zealand

Anna O’Byrne was 31st Overall and 1st in MW40-44 in the 100 Miler. In the 105km event were Michael Pullar and Signe Stanbridge. Mark O’Neill and Lee Flowers competed in the 100 Miler event

Leith Results

100 Miler

5th Anna O’BYRNE NZ 40-44W 22:14:46 Cat 1st 31st Overall

231st Mark O’ NEILLNZ 40-44M 31:58:00 Cat 30th M 173rd

243rd Lee Flowers NZ 55-59M 32:19:44 Cat 14th M 182

105km

258TH Michael Pullar NZ 55-59M 16:08:47 CAT 12TH M 192ND

301st Signe STANBRIDGE NZ40-44W 16:46:21 Cat 12th W 80th

Mark O’Neill reflects on his first entry into the world of ultra-running

The Tarawera 100 Mile race marked my first entry into the world of ultra-running, a challenge I never thought I’d tackle. It all started with a casual weekend run with friends, where the idea of attempting such a feat took place. Fast forward to race day, and there we were – myself, Lee, and Aaron Porter – standing nervously at the start line in Kawarau, bracing ourselves for the monumental journey ahead.

Right from the get-go, the event organisation was top-notch. From hassle-free online registration to smooth check-ins, everything ran like clockwork, a testament to the organisers’ efficiency and dedication.

The race kicked off at 4 am, with our sights set on pacing ourselves through the first half to conserve energy for the latter stages. My goal was to reach the 80km mark within 12 hours, a plan that worked well in the early stages of the race.

Around the 88km mark, I started to become aware of pain in both my heels. Everyone says to be proactive and solve any issues with shoes before they become a bigger issue, I removed both shoes and immediately another competitor came over and introduced herself as a nurse and advised to get to the medics as soon as possible. I was thinking “how can this be?” I’ve never had a blister before in my life! Thanks to my support crew – Robyn, James, and Ailish – I managed to address the issue at the medical tent, albeit with a bit of delay. After a quick fix and a change of shoes, I soldiered on, braving the scorching heat that began to take its toll. Suddenly my goal of 24 hours disappeared, and it was damage control from here on in.

As the day wore on, the soaring temperatures tested every runner on the course. Aid stations became what can only be described as resembling a war zone, offering brief reprieves amidst the relentless march forward.

Nightfall brought with it a new set of challenges, especially during the stretch from Miller to Okataina. The track felt unforgiving, and fatigue began to kick in. Arriving at Okataina in the dead of night, I was greeted by my support crew, their presence a source of both comfort and pressure. I badly wanted to quit by this point but I didn’t want to give up in front of the kids or Robyn who had been following me around all day. After a pep talk from Robyn and Lee, we decided to get some food in and keep going forward. A huge thanks to both of them!

The following miles were a battle against self-doubt and physical discomfort.

As morning broke, signalling the final stretch, a surge of determination propelled me forward. The pain seemed to disappear, and I think the final 5km were by far my quickest of the whole race.

Crossing the finish line in just under 32 hours was a moment of profound satisfaction. While it wasn’t the time I had hoped for, the sense of accomplishment was undeniable.

Looking back, I’m grateful for the camaraderie and support of fellow runners, volunteers, and organisers who made the journey possible. Their encouragement and assistance were invaluable, reminding me of the power of community in overcoming challenges.

As I reflect on this unforgettable experience, one moment stands out above all others: the final kilometer, running alongside my family and crossing the finish line with my kids

Anna O’Byrne’s Tarawera miler recap

I have heard people say you can go through a lifetime of emotions while running 100 miles, while I am not sure it was a life times worth, I definitely experienced plenty!
The startline was incredible, the atmosphere was filled with with excitement for what was to come.
The women’s field had a few quick runners in it, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to match their pace early on so my plan was to be efficient but not rushed and to be in a good position later on in the race so that if they out raced themselves at the front I would be there ready to race.
The 1st 100km went really well, it was stinking hot and had been from the start but I felt like I was managing it ok. I was loving every moment of the day, until I wasn’t. The section before buried village was long and hot, with a lot of people dropping here. I think in hindsight this might have been where things took a turn for me too, maybe more time in the aid station would have paid off?
The final 60km were an emotional rollercoaster of feeling great and bouncing over the beautiful trials, to vomiting on the side of the road, having Ruth Croft cheer me on, then more vomiting, the excitement of picking up my pacer & finding out I was third female, feeling great for a few kms then vomiting so hard I felt faint and needed to sit down, being passed while vomiting & feeling like a failure to arriving at the final aid station determined to finish hard. I arrived at the finish line knowing on the day that I gave it everything I had to give! After a trip to medical, more vomiting and a 4 kg race weightloss I found out I had finished 5th female overall and 1st in my age group.
A week removed I am proud for giving it a good crack but also a little frustrated, my legs still felt like they had so much more to give but the vomiting limited my ability to race the final 60km. So it’s back to the drawing board to see if I can get to the bottom of why my body seems to insist on vomiting in milers! If anyone has any ideas, please fire them my way!

I’m looking forward to see you back on the track and trails once my body has had some time to recover

 

Moonshine Trail, Saturday 10 February 2024

Dolamore Park, Gore, Southland

Full Results on Event Website >> Moonshine Trail 

Leith’s Ben Pigou finished second in the 15km Run to quality junior runner George Hamilton from Hill City-University – podium winners listed below:

15km Run Male : Open (20-39)

1 George Hamilton 1:00:42 

2 Ben Pigou 1:08:21 

3 Russell McKay 1:11:46