Over 100 runners from eight to 64 years of age turned out yesterday for the first race of the Kathmandu Riverrun Trail Series with the veteran fields shining in all distances.
The men’s half marathon field was a closely fought battle between Waimate runner Peter Trainor and last year’s series winner Mike Coombe (Wanaka). Trainor was able to put the pressure on in the final stages of the race and take the top spot in 1:26:28, Coombe finished 29 seconds later. Fellow Waimate runner David Gardner rounded out the vet podium in a time of 1:29:46. The first open male athlete home was George Armstrong (Dunedin) in 1:33.
Thrilled with his result and the competition he faced Peter Trainor enjoyed the day, “The tracks in Wanaka are fantastic, stunning scenery and no traffic! It was definitely a good day for Waimate runners,” he said.
The women’s top three half marathon competitors were neck and neck until the final kilometre when vet Chris Moffat from Waimate accelerated to be the first woman home in 1:37:02. Kelly Spaans (Wanaka) crossed the line shortly after in 1:37:46.
Wanaka’s Glen Thurston made easy work of the 10km course finishing in 42 minutes, hot on his heels was the first vet home Keith Taylor (Wanaka) in 42:05. Local personal trainer Val Burke was the first lady home on the 10km course clocking a time of 50:10, Shannon Foley claimed the women’s open title in a time of 55:05.
Local runner Lorenz Kissling (Wanaka) steamed around the 5km course in just 18:42, second across the line was Claire Nicholls (Queenstown) in 20:34. The under 16s were well represented in this field with young Wanaka athletes Janus Staufenberg (13) claiming the junior male title and Laura MacCulloch (13) the junior female top spot.
The next race will be staged on 16 February on the Clutha River Track, starting in Albert Town.
The Kathmandu Riverrun Trail Series is generously supported by Riverrun, Kathmandu, the Pawson Adventure Fund, Patagonia Chocolates, Wanaka Health and Water Bar.