Mower who goes extra yard

Ace cutter Dave Mclean cuts a swathe through long grass in preparation for the Leith Cross...
Ace cutter Dave Mclean cuts a swathe through long grass in preparation for the Leith Cross Country Relays and Ponydale Challenge. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
Sometimes it is the people behind the scenes who clear the way for sporting success. Reporter Simon Henderson talks to local identity Dave Mclean, who knows how to make a clean sweep for cross-country runners.

For some, a quick whizz around the back garden with the lawn mower keeps everything ship-shape and Bristol fashion.

The mower only has a journey from the garage to the lawn and back again. But Dave Mclean gives his lawn mower a much tougher workout.

He has been helping keep the paths clear for members of the Leith Harrier & Athletic Club for several years.

When he was was planning to clear tracks for the last Three Peaks Mountain Race, he had a "bright idea".

He realised it would be a whole lot quicker to use his trusty motor mower to clear a path for the race participants.

Soon he was clearing tracks from Flagstaff to Swampy to Hightop and the whole Powerline Rd to Morrisons Burn. He also cleared a new track from the Motorway bridge near Sullivans Dam to Cowan Rd.

Mr Mclean estimated he had pushed his lawnmower over about 12km, through some pretty tough terrain.

At 68, he still enjoyed running but was not quite as fast as he used to be.

"I am a runner and spend a lot of time with other runners," he said. "They were telling me how much they liked the course and so I did more and more."

His latest task was to clear a path for the Leith Cross Country Relays and Ponydale Challenge on Saturday.

At one point he lost a chunk out of the side of his mower, but a bit of a repair job and he was back at it, making short work of grass and scrub along the cross-country terrain.

"A bit like me, really, a few bits fall off but it still works."

Leith Harrier & Athletic Club president Chris Sole said Mr Mclean was appreciated for all the work he did.

He had also repaired trail bridges, rebuilt broken trail stairs, and helped clear back-country tracks.



Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter