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The Southland Road Running Championships were held in perfect racing conditions in Te Anau for the fourth year on Saturday 24 August.
43 runners ranging from junior through to seniors, competing in races up to 10km in length, starting from Te Anau Boat Harbour and finishing at the Marina area. The course was a 2km loop that progressed along the lakefront on Te Anau Terrce, turning into Town Centre and then into Mokonui St.
Fiordland Athletic Club Captain and Masters athlete Dwight Grieve, claimed the Southland Senior Men’s 10km Road Championship title in a time of 34.04, second Richard Ford of Fiordland 34.47 and third place Kelvin Meade of Invercargill 35.45.
Open Women 10km first Cassie Scobie of Invercargill 52.12, second Carolyn Fox of Fiordland 55.45 and third Amy Iversen of Invercargill 67.3. Debbie Telfer of Invercargill Master women 60+ 6km winner and completed extra laps for 10k team trophy in a time of 46.27.
Southland senior men’s team title went to Fiordland (Dwight Grieve, Richard Ford, Scott Underhay, Alistair Green) and senior women’s to Invercargill Invercargill (Debbie Telfer, Linda Te Au, Amy Iversen).
Dwight Grieve said, “The wind on the day destroyed any chance of a personal best but my time put me in personal best form and pretty happy at 42 to be able to still be going faster. This year has been a change of focus after a big 2018, had a down period to get body and mind together and balance between work, sport and family”.
“I have been building up over the harrier season to peak for New Zealand half marathon championships in Dunedin (Sunday 1 September), so to run well last weekend is a great confidence booster”.
“Back into full training now with hopes of good result at half marathon championships and sights on a personal best in the Kepler Challenge which is always a highlight of my year”.
”There are some very good younger runners coming through that have quality coaches and showing good dedication.
“It is one of the most stunning road running courses in the country”.
Hosted by Fiordland Athletics Club, the event is running extremely well, with appreciation for the volunteers and the local community support, said Grieve.
A special guest at the championships this year was Kerry Smith of Nelson, younger brother of the late Warren Smith, who was one of Southland's brightest young sporting talents and "a very proud St Paul's runner leaving a legacy in athletics.
17-year-old Smith was killed in Queenstown in 1957 and at the time he held a race record in the junior section. Warren’s parents in 1958, presented a trophy to be raced for in the junior section at the Southland Road Running Championships. Kerry presented the Warren Smith Memorial Trophy to Benjamin Britton of Queenstown winner of U20 in 27.52 last weekend.
Southland Athletics President Lilian Tudor said “I think the event went really well. It was good to have Kerry Smith start the race and he greatly appreciated it”.
- Julie Walls