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Sunday, August 9, 2020

2020 University Relays, QE Park Paekakariki Sat 8 May

Winning Scottish Men's A-Team: L-R Niam MacDonald. the other Hodge, Seamus Kane, Hamish Carson

There were about 84 teams in yesterday's relay which if not for Covid19 would have been held in May. 

Underfoot and overhead conditions were good although there was a stiff cold southerly which would have made the run into the finish line frustrating. 

The wind seemed to drop later in the race but the earlier scratch kid’s races, which I missed, would have got its chilling effect at its worst. 

The one kid’s race I did see was the U16’s which had four starters, 3 of whom were representing Trentham United. So there is no doubt about which club won the team’s race. 

Thinking about it, the low numbers in this grade may have been because the Wellington Secondary Schools XC races were held on Wednesday and there may have been little desire to race again so quickly. 

The other possibility is that some U16’s may have been drafted into Junior teams (U20) in the main relay. 

Moving to the main 4 lap relay; based on Daryl’s results the fastest lap time for the Senior Men’s grade was set by Olympian, Hamish Carson (Scottish) who ran 12.19.8 for the 3.7km circuit.

On lap 1 there was a dead heat photo finish changeover with Seamus Kane (Scottish) 12.20.5 a split second ahead of the 12.20.6 set by Will Anthony (Olympic).  

Will has been busy though and won the Senior Boys 6km XC champs race at Harcourt Park on Wednesday and looking ahead could well be a medal contender at the national schools' XC meeting in September. 

In the SM team’s race, Scottish dominated from lap 2 onwards with Olympic drifting behind WHAC for 3rd at one stage until Toby Gualter (Olympic) grabbed back 2nd place on the last lap with a ground-eating run to produce a 15-second advantage at the finish. 

From memory the 2nd place result would be the best for Olympic in the SM grade for a long time if not the best ever. 

Special mention needs to be made of Jamie Barnes who ran a sizzling lap to put the Scottish B team into a short-lived 2nd position, but he probably did enough to scare the hell out of his waiting team members. 

For the women, the fastest time was posted by Jean Kozyniak (WHAC) who ran 14.39.7 with Suzannah Lynch (Olympic) clocking the 2nd fastest time with 15.13.2 on lap 4. 

The team’s race in the grade was won by WHAC with Olympic getting home in 2nd.  

Overall, a great day for the Olympic club and the Wellington Scottish club the latter winning 7 of the 11 grades being competed for.

Other Stuff

Travelling by Magic Bus is the way to go

Niam Mc says that he has been in the last 5 winning Scottish SM’s teams at this event. Is that a world record?

Why was nobody smiling as they tackled the sharp incline on the outward journey, known as the Hill of Smiles?

A couple of runners, no doubt new to the course, attempted to go the wrong way. This highlights the need to ensure new folk get to look at the course before the race.

Daryl had 7 GoPro camera’s at the finish line – Sharon W and I counted them. But he should consider adding a few more to be on the safe side.

Rees Buck sporting a prize-winning moustache was behind the microphone doing the race commentary. When it comes to running he knows his stuff and so does Prof Roger Robinson, present today with the task of handing out prizes.