11,000 Kiwi’s participate in another stunning Marathon festival
In a year when international visitors could not make it across the borders, it was athletes with strong ties to the UK that took out the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Marathon titles on Saturday.
Ex-pat Scottish runner David Haunschmidt (Tauranga) and Great Britain 50km rep Hannah Oldroyd (Christchurch) proved quickest on the day, with Tauranga based Haunschmidt winning the men’s race in 2:39:40 while Oldroyd repeated her 2018 victory in 2:55:12.
Image: Credit Ross Mackay
Haunschmidt knew he had good legs coming into the event but was surprised at the ease with which he closed it out in the final 10km to win by 34 seconds from Hamish Elliott with Zebedee Stone a further 9 seconds back in third in one of the closest men’s races on record.
“I could see the front two most of the way and the last 8 or 9k I thought I had a bit more in me so just went for it. I am pretty surprised though, I came with no expectations and just to have fun, I didn’t think I would be standing here to be honest.
Oldroyd was delighted to add another title to her already impressive CV, the British athlete spends much of her year in New Zealand and won today on the back of a second place finish just three weeks ago at the ASB Auckland Marathon.
“That was my third run in six weeks and on the back of not a lot of training, so my legs are a little bit tired, but I survived somehow,” said Oldroyd.
In the Half Marathon Jack Moody and Olivia Ritchie took out the honours, with both delighted to be out running ahead of their upcoming triathlon seasons.
Moody said; “I have been down all week in Wanaka at a training camp and we were watching the weather forecast every day but it has turned out alright, it turned out beautiful really, not too hot and not too cold.
“I knew I was in good form and I took off hard at the start because I wanted to run my own race. I settled in but paid a price in the middle section, I always forget how ‘rolly’ and how punchy those little downhills are. It is the downhills rather than the up that take the sting out of the legs here.
Olivia Ritchie was thrilled with her win after months dealing with an Achilles injury.
“I have not been able to run too much the past six months, just swimming and cycling so to turn up and run today is really cool, just to be here is great. I got to the front pretty quick and was supposed to take it easy in the first half, but I don’t think I did – the second half I was really only just holding on.”
The Hits Drive Show team of Stacey Morrison, Mike Puru and Anika Moa all took part, with Morrison taking on the 10km event and Puru and Moa the 2 Degrees Half Marathon, Moa running the distance for the first time.
Former All Black front rower Wyatt Crockett took part in the full Marathon, crossing the line in a tick under four and a half hours alongside television broadcaster Scotty Stevenson.
“That was fantastic, I am just delighted to have this man alongside to help me across the finish line. I will definitely be back, better and stronger next time,” said Crockett.
Locals also got into the mood, delighted to be hosting an event of this significance, one that will provide a welcome boost to the regional economy with an estimated 10 million dollars pumped into the area, while the vast majority of the 11,000 plus participants spoke in glowing terms of a course widely described as the world’s most scenic, with the majority run on the beautiful off-road Queenstown Trail network.
Image: Credit Ross Mackay
New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Marathon
1 David Haunschmidt, (SCO) Tauranga, 2:39:40
2 Hamish Elliott, Oamaru, 2:40:14
1 Hannah Oldroyd, (GBR) Christchurch, 2:55:12
2 Margie Campbell, Dunedin, 3:01:00
2 Degrees Half Marathon
1 Jack Moody, Auckland, 1:10:09
2 Mike Phillips, Christchurch, 1:10:54
1 Olivia Ritchie, Christchurch, 1:28:09
2 Alexia Preston, Auckland 1:29:00
1 Saxon Morgan, 32:16
2 Gregor Findlay, 33:38
1 Sarah Douglas, 38:12
2 Megan Foster, 41:22