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Saturday, March 16, 2019

2019 McVilly Shield (Relay) Karori Park Wellington Sat 16 Mar

The winning team 


The McVilly Shield.  I vaguely remember this trophy but for the life of me I can’t remember the exact format of the race or where it used to start and finish.

Alan Stevens who knows everything said that it was run from the clubrooms in the 70’ and 80’s as an out and back course. The chances are that like all club races it has been in different locations over the ages.  

So is this the “pairs race” that was run from the clubrooms through the streets of Berhampore?  The winning team of two were credited with the time of the last of the team home. 

This meant the faster runner had to stay with the slower runner to help this person through to the finish line as quickly as possible. Who would want to be the slower runner in any pairing?

Last year the McVilly was revived (killed off by someone?) and held near Sinclair Park in Houghton Bay.  It was a relay format event but unlike the Karori race it was a toughie. 

Across the park to enter a track which eventually came down to the Houghton Bay school and play area. The mean part was coming all the way back up a long four wheel drive track to the park. The uphill never seemed to end and you would need to be reasonably fit for this one.  

Not sure how long it was either.  

The Karori Park location is basically flat which makes it easier for everyone including the young and old and of course Ray Marten.  

The format for the 2018 version of the race was for the organisers to form balanced teams of 3 with a sealed handicap applied to each. 

The race was 10 laps long and the team could run in any order but no member could run more than 4 laps.  

The race started in the morning just after 9.00am or so. The early start is fine as it gets the race out of the way at a busy location that is used extensively for sport and by recreational users. 

And luring the faster runners out was easier because apparently they use the park at around this time on Saturday mornings for tempo work.

So operationally the event appeared easier to set up and manage. 

I did wonder if the race would be more interesting is some hilly bits could be included (as with the Wellington Sec Schools XC relay held in May and organised by Scottish) but then that would have made the event less attractive for the range of runners you want to attract. 

Plus how would Ray Marten manage. 

Competitively things went fine with no apparent hiccups or drama.

Fittingly before the race started a moment of silence was held for those who lost their lives in the shocking attack yesterday on two mosques in Christchurch. 

The winning McVilly team on handicap was Alasdair Saunders, Iain Shaw and Walter Somerville. 

The fastest team was James Turner, Kristin Dovey and Matthew Moloney but with a 6 minute handicap they were soon pushed out of the top spot.  

Stephen Day described the 6 minute handicap as brutal. But how can one describe a handicap applied by the club handicapper to his own team as anything but fair and reasonable, especially since Matthew Moloney was in it.

Curiously there were two others teams on a 6 minute handicap which on reflection does seem odd when you consider the team makeup. The one with Sharon Wray in it was clearly being handicapped out of contention for being too fast on the camera shutter button. 

Now these were brutal handicaps.      

The End

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