Pakuranga Cross Country, Lloyd Elsmore Park – 20 May 2023
In the first taste of winter cross country running Ronan Lee and Brigid Dennehy prevailed in the atrocious conditions at the annual Pakuranga event.
Lee led throughout the 10km around the playing fields through heavy rain squalls and gale force winds. The further the racing progressed the more muddy and churned up the course became.
Although he lost some ground over the second half he was still clear at the finish in 35:09, making it three years in a row. Toby Batchelor led the chasing pack and broke through for second in 35:48 with Jono Jackson third in 36:03.
“Definitely the toughest conditions I’ve run, muddy, wet, energy sapping, but good fun, proper cross country,” said Lee at the finish.
“I probably went a bit hard on the first lap but I managed to get a decent gap on the rest and then just held it to the end and try not to blow up.
“I’m looking forward to running North Island champs and this was a good first hit out,” he added.
Dennehy ran with team mate Anneke Arlidge throughout just pulling ahead of her at the finish. Dennehy won by one second in 43:32. Grace Anderson was third in 46:15.
“Pretty tough, nice opening to cross country running, lots of mud, lots of rain and wind,” said Dennehy.
“Good start to the season, Anneke and I were doing it as a training run, running together making sure we didn’t blow up,” she said.
“I’m training towards the Gold Coast half marathon on the first of July and I’ll do national cross country after that.
“I’d like to get close to 75 minutes at the Gold Coast.”
Dennehy has a best half marathon time of 1:18:56 from the Christchurch Reboot event in May last year, and she was sixth in the 2021 national cross country in Dunedin.
Master men 8km; Nick Moore 30:36, Greg Darbyshire 31:14, Simon Mace 31:58.
Master women 6km; Karen Donaldson-Barron 25:52, Rachel Eade 29:54, Margie Peat 31:02.
Men under 20 8km; Dion Wallwork 29:24, Nick Davies 29:26, Angus Monro 29:26.
Women under 20 6km; Boh Ritchie 25:02, Olivia Rooney 26:24, Stella Hammond 27:23.
Men under 18 6km; Caleb Wagener 21:45, Joshua Gordon-Glassford 21:52, Jack Snedden 22:49.
Women under 18 4km; Sophie Robb 18:01, Zara Pomfret 18:17, Amelia Joyce 18:27.
Men under 16 4km; Samuel Rickerby 15:02, Jake Lomas 15:18, Moojin Lee 15:47.
Women under 16 2km; Imogen Barlow 8:16, Indie Williams 8:25, Hannah McManus 8:34.
Under 14 2km; Oliver McGuinness 8:03 and Leah Marais 8:15. Under 12 2km; Leo Green 8:07 and Nyah Slade 9:06.