SM Race at the 2nd stream crossing on lap 1. Filmed by Tanysha-Rochelle Jones as part of the Peter Jones Youtube collection.
8km Race, first stream crossing, lap 1
This year’s Dorne was basically the same as last year except
there were two stream crossings per lap for those doing the 4km lap. So in the
wet feet department it was a return to the layout of a couple of years ago.
I would say that most people crossed the stream quite well
where the paparazzi were located and where I also accidently myself positioned
The water was deep but the real danger was the exit which became
dangerously slippery early on. But apart from the odd near mishap the only person
who came close to communing with the mud was Todd Stevens.
What I noticed this year was how close some of the races
Apart from maybe a couple of races nobody was able to clear out and run
home free for a win without being seriously challenged.
It happened in the
first race when Kara MacDermid (Palmerston North), a regular at this event,
battled it out with Maiya Christini (WHAC). It could have gone either way but Maiya showed her speed and strength over the last stretch to get an 11 second gap at the finish line.
An even closer battle took place in the 4km Under 18 and
Under 20 race when Toby Gualter and Will Anthony, Olympic clubmates both, went
to it hammer and tongs.
At the stream crossing they were neck and neck
splashing water everywhere including over me. Toby won with a 3 second gap but
it sure was a great race and could make future clashes interesting.
Toby is in the U20 grade while Will is in the U18 grade, not that it mattered
when they were fighting over line honours.
Will is coached by Alistair Leslie who
coaches a number of other centre athletes including Liam Wright (Olympic) who
won the U16 Boys race in a sprint finish. Wright was also the winner in last week’s
Intermediate Boys grade at the Welly Sec Schools XC at Harcourt Park while Will won the Senior Boys race.
Perhaps the most crowd pleasing finish came in the 1km kids
race when Cameron Starr (WHAC) barely held off a rampaging Jemima Squire (WHAC)
who had basically led the race until the last turn to the finish line. There
was only half a second in it at the end. You go girl!
In the big boys race over 8km the field looked interesting.
There was Dan Jones and Niam MacDonald the wonder boy along with Isaac Murphy (WHAC) someone not to be under estimated.
I saw Tim Cornish running around but
he never started so maybe he was just train spotting or something.
also the lanky kid, Liam Back from Wanganui Collegiate School who must be the favourite
to win the Senior Boys 6km title in Timaru at the end of the month. So maybe
WCS coach Alec McNab thought a fast 8km race is just what Mr Back needed to get
And in the masters grade there was Brian Garmonsway (Trentham
United) and rivals Stephen Day and Andrew Wharton (both Scottish).
Niam led Dan across the creek on lap 1 with Isaac and Liam right
there. Seamus Kane was next then Brian Garmonsway. Behind these early stream
hoppers was the Scottish trio of Ben Twyman, Evan Cooper and #MadHarry. On lap
2 though, Dan had made a tiny break to keep Niam at bay but it was still quite
a close race at this point which would clearly need a sprint finish to settle.
I would say that Niam made Dan work hard for his win which
again will make future clashes interesting.
The following procession of Scottish runners left little
doubt as to who had won the teams race.
If I was going to make suggestions to the organisers it
would be to make sure course marshalls or sufficient cones are placed at the
outer regions of the 2km lap. In one of the children’s races one boy took a
huge shortcut across the field and went nowhere near where he should have. It wasn’t
a deliberate act of cheating but luckily the following runner had more sense
than to repeat the mistake probably because he had staked out the course