The weather could not have been better for the inaugural Mission Mt Somers off-road running race which was held at Staveley on Saturday, attracting nearly 200 competitors over the three categories.
41 athletes lined up for the 42km mountain marathon that started and finished at the Staveley store and circumnavigated the Mount Somers DOC track. Taking home a trophy, sponsor prizes, and $500 cash donated by Tavendale & Partners, was fastest male and overall winner, Roman Evarts who blitzed the course in 4 hours 37 minutes. Whilst fastest female was Methven born Julia Grant who ran it in 5:55. Evarts commented “it was beautiful scenery and a really nice course. I really enjoyed it. This course was perfect for me as I really enjoy steep long climbs and technical fast downhills.” While Grant commented “that is the hardest marathon I have ever done.”
Lining up for the 21km half marathon that started at Woolshed Creek carpark were 73 keen athletes, including 24 Mid Canterbury locals, ready for the steep start up to the coalmines and then the gruelling climb to the saddle, before descending down to Pinnacles Hut and out to Staveley. Fastest half marathon male and overall winner was Nathan Jones who ran it in 2 hours and 18 minutes, and fastest female was Femke Hilbink in 2 hours 40 minutes.
The 10km course started and finished at Staveley and trailed through private farm land encompassing stream crossings, swing bridges, a skating rink and lime kilns. 16 year old Mark Wilson from Lauriston had the fastest 10km time of the day at 44:13, three minutes in front of his next rival. Fastest female was Holly Gadson who raced in 56:27. Eight year old William Saunders and brother Hugh (10), from Ashburton came in 6 and 8th respectively overall, meaning three junior (U18) athletes were in the top ten fastest times.
Enduranz Events Director Glen Currie says “we were lucky with the weather, the track was in pristine condition, and all the athletes went hard and had fun out there. Big thanks to our sponsors, marshalls, Search and Rescue, and everyone else who helped behind the scenes. Bring on next year and bring a friend!”
All results and photos can be found on the website www.enduranzevents.co.nz