Winner of Big Easy beats teams, breaks record

Overall winner of the Big Easy 100km Sky Run Daniel Garret, of Wellington, and female winner Gill...
Overall winner of the Big Easy 100km Sky Run Daniel Garret, of Wellington, and female winner Gill Fowler, of Sydney. Photo: Tim Miller.
More than 400 people took part in a series of "ultra" events in and around Wanaka on Saturday. A 100km running race was the pinnacle of the Big Easy event, which also included a mountain-bike race, a marathon over Mt Pisa and a team relay race following the same 100km running course.

Daniel Garrett, of Wellington, was not only the fastest of the individual 100km runners in a time of 10hr 24min and 33sec, but he was faster than all the teams competing in the 100km relay event.

He also broke the course record. Gill Fowler, of Sydney, was the fastest female and sixth fastest overall in a time of 12hr 35min and 42sec. The eveny started in darkness at the Albert Town Tavern at 3am on Saturday  and the 100km course included climbs of Mt Iron, Roys Peak, Mt Alpha, Little Criffel and Mt Pisa. The race director, Terry Davis,  could not have been more happy with the event.

"We had an almost perfect day weather-wise and didn’t have really any serious issues with the runners,  so it all went very well," Mr Davis said.

Now in its seventh year, the event has continued to grow in popularity and this year attracted about 400 competitors.

"We couldn’t do it without all the landowners who let us race over their land and the marshalls who are out there making sure everyone is safe as well."

Winner of the Mountain Marathon Daniel Borquez  made a triumphant return two years after he collapsed and was taken to hospital while running in the same race.

"It was a touch and go situation at the time but to see him come back after what happened and win well,  that’s what the whole event is all about," Mr Davis said.

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