New Zealand Road Championships, New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport, Trentham – 4 September 2022
Leading triathlete Janus Staufenberg of Otago had the sprint finish that counted in taking out the senior men’s 10km title by two seconds in 31:02.
Going into the final circuit of the windswept course around the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt the race was down to Staufenberg and the Canterbury pair of Oska Baynes and Daniel Balchin.
Into the final straight to the finish Staufenberg rallied and sneaked in for the gold medal.
In taking out his first national running title Staufenberg was stoked.
“It’s windy out there, and it was just about playing smart and just trying to tuck in where I could but I didn’t want to drop back too far as there are plenty of corners and you can get too strung out on those corners,” he said.
“The last lap I still felt good and put in a couple of surges throughout and down the back straight into the wind just kept pushing, pushing, and then a nice sprint finish with Oska at the end.”
His next planned competitions will be a series of triathlon races in Asia.
Hannah Miller had no trouble adding the senior national women’s 10km road title to her New Zealand marathon title. Miller went head-to-head with Sarah Drought over the first half of the race before putting the hammer down on the penultimate lap.
It was an all Wellington finish with Miller winning in 35:50 from Drought 36:11 and Deborah Lynch third in 36:27.
Miller said into the wind it was her endurance training that got her there.
“I just trusted my endurance training as I have not done any speed work for a 10k, so it was a bit silly to lead into the wind on the first two laps. But I felt comfortable, so I just wound it up. It was not a time we were after today but always an honour to win a national champs,” she said.
Miller will now look to make it a road treble when she tackles the New Zealand Half Marathon Championships in Cambridge next month.
Laura Langley collected her second national 20km road walking title in 1:49:29.
Langley was joined by Courtney Ruske from the start but was soon well out on her own battling the elements, going through the first 10km in 52:36.
Courtney who was two minutes behind at the halfway mark, pulled out of the race shortly after.
Langley said that she felt really well prepared.
“The conditions were quite tough with the wind and the course is a little bit more hilly than what I’d like so it was a little bit tough and challenging so we weren’t expecting fast times, but it was still my second fastest 20km, about 40 seconds off my PB, so I’m quite happy about that.
She explained that she is targeting the 35km distance now.
“My next race is over 35km in the American champs in Santiago and I hope to qualify for the next World Championships in Hungary,” she added.
Although now based in Canterbury, Langley is still coached by Graeme Jones from Hawkes Bay.
Ruske explained that she was carrying an injury going into the race.
“I had a hamstring tear diagnosed a month out so it was a bit niggly and I could feel it every lap,” she added. “It was a bit undulating at points so unfortunately it was not my day. I was lucky just to line up.
“I look forward to a big break now,” she said.
Jacqueline Wilson who holds the New Zealand masters W75 10km race walk record of 1:07:57 won her age group in 1:11:48.
Barry Magee coached Sally Gibbs (59) again dominated the master women 5km, winning outright by 12 seconds over Wellington’s Mel Brandon in 18:18.
“It is always lovely to be running with the juniors, it’s so nice as I do appreciate their pacing. The wind was definitely the most challenging factor today,” she said.
“I really like encouraging other masters to come out and have a go, we’re definitely the biggest fields here today and it makes a better race for that.”
On turning 60 in June next year, Gibbs said that it was her last year in the 55-59 age group, “so I’ll make the most of that first”.
Simon Mace in the 45-49 age group won the master men’s 10km outright in 32:30 from 35-39 age group Nick Horspool who recorded 32:53. Daniel Clendon was third in 33:03.
Mace, who was 30 seconds slower than his Auckland title victory was delighted with the win.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s good to see it pay some dividends. The conditions were blustery but it was a good course,” he said.
“I just made it a tactical thinking thing each lap and we shared the pace around pretty much and it worked out alright.”
Mace now looks forward to the New Zealand Half Marathon Championships in Cambridge on October 16.
One of the highlights amongst the various age groups was the record-breaking run by Roger Robinson who set a New Zealand masters 80 record of 53:59. This was an improvement on Jim Feist’s 2015 record of 55:50.
Robinson knew that he had a good chance of getting the record.
“I have done faster than the previous record in America at the national senior games and when I filled out the record application I checked to confirm that the course had been certified and finally after months they confessed that it hadn’t been certified, so there was no point in submitting that application.
“I was looking for 5:30 per k and I was cranking them out at about 5:23, so it was good.
“With a lap course you are running along and you are thinking I’m going well this is really great and all of a sudden there is a whoosh and this great group of people come by and lap you and then they lap you again and again,” said Robinson.
Joshua Gill won the U20 8km in 25:59 from mountain running champion Ben Rickerby.
Gill said the plan was to go after about 5km to put some pressure on and see who came with him.
“Ben was with me so I just kept strong and I went well,” he said.
Gill from Tasman said that he is coached by Julian Matthews and Annika Pfitzinger. “They are really good, really modern and really kind,” he said.
Boh Ritchie at 15 years of age stepped up to the U20 5km which she won with ease in a PB 18:03 from Mackenzie Morgan and Amelia Green.
“I’m trying to qualify for the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst next February,” explained Ritchie at the finish.
“It was really cool to win the Australian schools cross country champs last week, it was such good experience.
“I was trying to head for a qualifying time today, but the conditions got its way, it was very windy, but it was good.
“So I just stayed strong and carried on my race plan as it was. My breathing sounded good compared with the others.
“I would like to thank my parents Sarah and Sam Ritchie, my coach Angela Russek and the whole of the St Peter’s School squad for helping me to get here today.”
Joshua Jordan won the U18 6km in 19:30, 24 seconds ahead of Jamie Mora.
“I was going pretty hard out, and tried to hold on to the front pack and started pulling away in the first lap and when I looked behind on the 90 degree corners I couldn’t see them anymore,” said Jordan.
“The idea was to stick with the front pack but I found the pace a bit too slow for my liking, so I picked it up a bit and it worked in my favour.
“It is my first time being in the top three at the nationals. I’d like to thank my coach at Trentham United Dale Robinson puts in so much effort in order that I run my best.”
Jack Erikson convincingly won the U16 4km in 12:59. A previous under 14 winner Erikson said that it was tactical race at the start.
“It was a matter of seeing how everyone was breathing and when to put my foot down and go hard to the end,” said Erikson.
Sophie Robb (16) led Auckland to a first four finish in the women’s U18 5km, to take the team title with just 10 points. Robb recorded a finishing time of 18:23.
Robb’s younger sister Scarlett (14) won the U16 4km in 14:19, outsprinting Imogen Barlow by eight seconds.
“It was really tricky, it was really really windy but I managed to stay relaxed and not stress out and saw where I should go and sprinted for it. I’m really happy with my result today,” she said.
Race walk winners U20 Lucas Martin, U18 Jonah Cropp and Alana Mathews, U16 Richie Trathen and Sinead O’Sullivan, U14 Harrison Day and Morgan Day, master men Eric Kemsley and Catherine Uhlenberg.
Cropp lost valuable seconds nearing the finish.
“They didn’t point out which way I was meant to go at the finish, so I had to go around again. There were strong winds down the back straight at the second turn, otherwise it was a good race I felt smooth and strong,” he said.
Martin, who walked a PB 10km of 49:04 still treated the race as a solid training effort.
“The key was not to go out too hard and keep it nice and steady and focus on developing rather than performing as I didn’t want to get stressed for this. The wind over the last 200 metres was really strong,” he said.
Senior 10km: Janus Staufenberg (Otago) 31m 2s 1, Oska Baynes (Canterbury) 31m 4s 2, Daniel Balchin (Canterbury) 31m 8s 3, Luke Scott (Manawatu Whanganui 31m 18s PB 4.Teams Canterbury 27, Wellington 42, Manawatu Whanganui 90.
Masters 10km: Simon Mace (Auckland) 32m 30s 1, Nick Horspool (Wellington) 32m 53s 2, Daniel Clendon (Wellington) 33m 3s 3. Teams 35-49 Auckland 22, Wellington 30. 50-64 Wellington 16, Canterbury 26. 65+ Tasman 29.
Under-20 8km: Joshua Gill (Tasman) 25m 59s 1, Benjamin Rickerby (Auckland) 26m 10s 2, Nelson Doolan (Manawatu Whangarei) 26m 34s 3.
Under-18 6km: Joshua Jordan (Wellington) 19m 30s 1, Jamie Mora (Auckland) 19m 54s 2, Tayne Patel (Hawkes Bay Gisborne) 20m 5s 3. Teams Wellington 20, Auckland 28.
Under-16 4km: Jack Erikson (Auckland City Athletics) 12m 59s 1, Callum Wos (Trentham) 13m 31s 2, Alec Ball (Feilding) 13m 40s 3.
Under-14 3km: Otto Church (Chch Avon) 10m 27s 1, Gregory Jack (Kapiti) 10m 44s 2, Matthew Meiklejohn (Trentham) 10m 56s 3.
Senior 10km: Hannah Miller (Wellington) 35m 50s 1, Sarah Drought (Wellington) 36m 11s 2, Deborah Lynch (Wellington) 36m 27s PB 3. Teams Wellington 12, Manawatu Whanganui 49.
Masters 5km: Sally Gibbs (Manawatu Whanganui) 18m 18s 1, Mel Brandon (Wellington) 18m 29s 2, Ingrid Cree (Wellington) 18m 34s 3. Teams 35-49 Wellington 11. 50-65 Manawatu Whanganui 25.
Under-20 5km: Boh Ritchie (Waikato Bay of Plenty) 18m 3s PB 1, Mackenzie Morgan (North Harbour Bays) 18m 8s PB 2, Amelia Green (Auckland) 18m 48s 3.
Under-18 5km: Sophie Robb (Auckland) 18m 23s 1, Jodie Nash (Auckland) 18m 41s 2, Leila Daniels (Auckland) 18m 43s 3, Sascha Letica (Auckland) 19m 1s 4. Teams Auckland 10, Manawatu Whanganui 53.
Under-16 4km: Scarlett Robb (Auckland City Athletics) 14m 19s 1, Imogen Barlow (Pakuranga) 14m 27s 2, Courtney Fitzgibbon (Feilding) 14m 43s 3.
Under-14 3km: Zoe Hilton (Trentham) 11m 16s 1, Kennedy Corkin 11m 26s 2, Juliet Moorhead (Olympic Wgtn) 11m 40s 11m 40s 11m 40s 3.
Under-20 10km: Lucas Martin (Manawatu Whanganui) 49m 4s PB 1. Under-18 5km: Jonah Cropp (Canterbury) 24m 20s 1, Toby O’Rorke (Taranaki) 26m 29s PB 2. Under-16 5km: Richie Trathen (Pakuranga) 28m 8s 1, Ari Bennett (Ashhurst) 29m 39s 2, Nathan Baylis (Taranaki) 33m 11s 3. Under-14 3km: Harrison Day (Pakuranga) 21m 20s 1, Drew Smal (Pakuranga) 23m 49s 2. Master men 10km: Eric Kemsley (Taranaki) 1h 2m 51s 1, Clive McGovern (Wellington) 1h 3m 5s 2, Rodney Gillum (Taranaki) 1h 8m 57s 3. Teams Taranaki 20.
Senior 20km: Laura Langley (Hawkes Bay Gisborne) 1h 49m 29s 1. Under-18 5km: Alana Mathews (Auckland) 30m 44s 1, Yandri Fourie (Auckland) 33m 43s 2. Under-16 5km: Sinead O’Sullivan (Stratford) 34m 34s 1. Under-14 3km: Morgan Day (Pakuranga) 19m 52s 1, Peylin Baylis (Taranaki) 22m 34s 2. Master women 10km: Catherine Uhlenberg (Taranaki) 1h 10m 24s 1, Jacqueline Wilson (Wellington) 1h 11m 48s 2, Heather McLean (Canterbury) 1h 15m 31s 3.