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Sunday, July 22, 2018

2018 Wellington Masters Johnsonville Hill Road Races Wellington Sun 22 Jul

A digital generated impression of Sharon Wray's "special apricot truffles".

Results to come

This event is in its 33rd year and is what I would describe as a boutique race.

This is because the starting numbers are not huge; in fact if they were any bigger it would actually be a problem from a safety point of view. Organisers also provide a light lunch which makes it the day strongly social.

The race was originally set up and organised for many years by Brian Watson a member of Olympic Harriers.  Which is why the course is close to the Olympic Harrier clubrooms located at Moore Park.  

Brian currently lives up the coast at Levin but I certainly remember racing against him in the 70’s and 80’s. In 2009 Brian wrote a brief history of the race which sets out the reasons for its establishment.

So what we have is an 8km running race that is achieved by completing 5 laps of a 1.6km loop around J/ville streets with no road crossings.  It includes uphill and downhill but nothing too strenuous. There is a race walking option which involves 4 laps or 6.4km in total.

The course is reasonably safe but racing exclusively on the footpath is probably not that fantastic due to unevenness etc.

Thankfully it didn’t rain as forecast but the brisk wind from the north was bitterly cold. I call it spring weather.

The fastest 8km competitor today was Brian Garmonsway from Trentham United, who also picked up the Lockhart Hewitson Memorial Baton awarded to the person who either smashes an age grade record or gets closest to it.  

The fastest walker was NZ race walking record holder Jackie Wilson also from Trentham United.

But the real stars were Sharon Wray’s’ “special apricot truffles”. These creations are delicious and the only reason why Johnny Hines turns up every year.  Sharon says the recipe is a secret but we shall see.


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