160km race was youngest entrant's second marathon

Rei Ishikawa (30), of Dunedin, strides along during the 50km race.
Rei Ishikawa (30), of Dunedin, strides along during the 50km race.
Kat Bulk (28), of Queenstown, manages a smile during  the 60km team race.
Kat Bulk (28), of Queenstown, manages a smile during the 60km team race.
Andrew Glennie (36), of Dunedin, finishes the 50km race.
Andrew Glennie (36), of Dunedin, finishes the 50km race.
Jim Kerse (67), of Dunedin, uses  poles in the 160km race.
Jim Kerse (67), of Dunedin, uses poles in the 160km race.
Merrilee Williams (35), of Dunedin, maintains pace in the 60km team race.
Merrilee Williams (35), of Dunedin, maintains pace in the 60km team race.
Sarah Morton, of Dunedin, runs beside Max Major, of Dunedin, during The Great Naseby footrace on...
Sarah Morton, of Dunedin, runs beside Max Major, of Dunedin, during The Great Naseby footrace on Saturday. Max was 60km into his 80km run. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Youngest 160km race entrant Ashton Witney  puts an arm around supporter Leighton Balemi (28) in...
Youngest 160km race entrant Ashton Witney puts an arm around supporter Leighton Balemi (28) in Naseby. Photos by Liam Cavanagh.

The youngest person to finish the gruelling 160km ultramarathon in Naseby at the weekend did so only weeks after completing his first marathon.

Ashton Witney (21), of Auckland, completed the The Great Naseby Water Race in 26hrs 11min 33sec, and came 16th overall, starting at noon on Friday and finishing just before 2.15pm on Saturday.

He entered his first marathon in July on the Gold Coast, Australia, and then set his sights on Naseby.

Mr Witney said he came from a cycling background, but had always wanted to do an ultramarathon after following the sport in Europe and the United States.

Running 16 10km loops might be tough for some, but Mr Witney said he enjoyed the endurance aspect. The race followed a gravel road and a Naseby forest track alongside a water race built for gold mining in the 1860s.

How does one finish a mentally and physically challenging race through day and night?''I don't know. I have put a fair bit of money into it and there's a lot of people back home supporting me.''

Winner of the 50km race, Paul Timothy, of Christchurch, said it was his first time in the event and it was ''awesome''.

Originally from Coventry, England, he said the race was an opportunity to get into New Zealand's outdoors. He particularly liked having the mountains as a backdrop.

He had a helping hand from his ''awesome support crew'' and trained under the guidance of Naseby ultramarathon champion Marty Lukes in Christchurch. Mr Lukes held records for both ultramarathon races, 160km and 100km.

Race organiser Jamie Sinclair said the race went really well, despite the weather making the track muddy, which caused a few injuries. The people who took part in the event were like family, he said.

''It's just a fun event and it's supposed to be social.''

The non profit event was organised by Mr Sinclair and his wife Aileen, and took place on land owned by Ernslaw One.


Results

160km

Men: Marty Lukes 15hr 20min 57sec, 1; Glenn Kelly 17hr 3min 35sec, 2; Glenn Sutton 17hr 59min 35sec, 3.

Women: Koleighne Ford 22hr 30min 11sec, 1; Heather Barnes 25hr 15min 34sec, 2; Marie Ford 28hr 5min 32sec, 3.

100km

Men: Tim Wright 9hr 32min 8sec, 1; Matthew Bebbington 9hr 55min 30sec, 2; Greg Nelson 11hr 42min 58sec, 3.

Women: Sabina Ledergerber 12hr 7min 41sec, 1; Marie Marshall 12hr 11min 25sec, 2; Wendy Fallon 12hr 36min 58sec, 3.

80km

Men: Stu Milne 7hr 19min 25sec, 1; Max Major 8hr 2min 41sec, 2; Richard Leary 8hr 12min 27sec, 3.

Women: Shannon Leigh Litt 7hr 50min 31sec, 1; Miriam Bielski 11hr 4min 6sec, 2; Katie Hogue 11hr 40min 11sec, 3.

50km

Men: Paul Timothy 3hr 50min 1sec, 1; Scott Worthington 4hr 12min 42sec, 2; Matt Bixley 4hr 32min 19sec, 3.

Women: Johannah Jackson 5hr 1min 55sec, 1; Toni Smith 5hr 26min 8sec, 2; Ali Barbara 5hr 43min 2sec, 3.

 Full results at www.greatnasebywaterrace.co.nz will be available later.


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