Quentin Rew of Wellington carved 27 minutes off his personal best time in winning the New Zealand 50km road walking championship at Whakatu in Hastings on Sunday.
The 26 year old runner turned race walker recorded a time of 4h 25m 19s, to head in Graeme Jones of Hastings by five minutes.
It was Rew’s second ever 50km race, having won the title last year in 4h 52m 55s.
“I’ve come a long way in a year,” said Rew.
“With a bit more training and harder long sessions I should knock a further half hour off that. If I take 27 minutes off every time I race I should be in good shape come London Olympics,” he added.
Rew believes he could make next year’s world championships in Korea.
“Tony Sargisson, Graeme Jones and I have a 50km in April next year where we should all post a qualifying time,” said Rew.
Roseanne Robinson of Otago won the women’s 10km title (carried over from Christchurch after being cancelled due to the earthquake) and continued on in the same race to win the 15km title. Alana Barber of Auckland was second in both events.
Mike Parker of Auckland won the senior 10km in 50m 6s. Parker has achieved a unique piece of New Zealand athletic history in that he now holds the longest span (34 years) between his first senior title won in 1976 and his latest effort. It is also 29 years since he last won a senior title.