NZ Cross Country Championships - Dunedin
Athletics Auckland Congratulates all its athletes on their performances at the NZ Cross Country Championships 7/8/21 in Dunedin.
Athletics NZ Round Up:
New Zealand Cross Country Championships, Chisholm Links – 7 August 2021
Oli Chignell triumphed on his home course for the senior men’s title and Waikato Bay of Plenty champion Kerry White added the national women’s title with an impressive display of front running at the Chisholm Links in Dunedin.
A large group headed the men’s title race over 10km, which was down to Chignell leading Matthew Taylor, Janus Staufenberg and Christopher Dryden after the first two laps.
But once Chignell had found his rhythm he was on his own and on his way to his second national cross country title.
He finished full of running in 31:45, 19 seconds ahead of Taylor with Christopher Dryden third in 32:23.
Chignell knew he was in the form to win.
“I knew I had the tools to win from wherever I needed to, whether that be from the gun or the last 200m. The plan was to ease my way into it over the first couple of laps and find my legs. It’s a tough course and it was a matter of finding a natural rhythm if you can and from 6km out I decided to move to the front and run the race at a pace that I found comfortable, but pushing it.
“I just gradually lengthened out, from 10 metres went out to 150-200 metres and just kept working all the way through,” said Chignell as a hailstorm swept the ground.
Last year in the challenge race on the Chisholm Links course Chignell was third behind Hayden Wilde and Sam Tanner.
“No one was anyway near Hayden Wilde last year and he just went out and smashed it. And coming in this year I knew I was in really good form, fairly good shape and I knew that I could win and so it was just about running my own race and executing what I’d planned to do.
Chignell bypassed the Otago championship.
“I had a bit of a problem with plantar fascia, so I decided to give it a miss and save myself for the big dance and I had a lot of pent-up racing energy and I managed to unleash today in full force.
“Bathurst here went come all the way, hopefully some big competitions next year, world cross, World outdoor champs, Comm Games, that would be brilliant,” said Chignell.
White said that having done a good time in winning the Waikato title she knew she was in the form to tackle the national title.
“I thought if I can do something similar in the nationals I’d be in for a pretty good shot.