We have an exciting line up of training and social runs and race events lined up for the season. These runs and events cater for runners of all ages and abilities and are a great way to get to know your fellow club members while enjoying a run together. Check Leith Facebook for latest news on harrier events. Leith Harriers winter season extends from April to October and then the track and field season starts.
See our calendar for latest updates and our join page for more information about our club. All are welcome and we would love to see new members at our regular club runs, training runs, social runs and Athletics Otago events. See the Leith Archives for previous years' reports.
For full details >> Otago Cross Country Champs 2019
On Saturday, Susan Craig ran the Southern Lakes Half Marathon finishing in the MW 50-59 grade in 2hr 2min.
Steve Tripp did the club proud competing in this event.
This exciting mainly off-road event organised by our Leith Harrier club
and which traverses the three peaks on
Dunedin's skyline, Flagstaff, Swampy Summit, and Mount Cargill, an
approximate distance of 26 kilometres, took place on Sunday 7 April this
year. For results and a full report on the race please visit
Three Peaks Mountain
Leith Harriers report for Three Peaks Mountain Race - Sun 7 April 2019
The Three Peaks Mountain Race which took place on Sunday was a tremendous success with 180 keen runners tackling Dunedin's three peaks, Flagstaff, Swampy Summit and Mt Cargill. The weather was ideal for running, cool and sunny with light winds. Hamish Elliott won the race in 2hrs 6mins 21.9secs and Leith's Sharon Lequeux won the women's title in 2hrs 44mins 10secs as well as Queen of the Mountain title. Caversham's Jonah Smith won the King of the Mountain title. Other Leith members to feature were Andrew Lonie 14th in 2hrs 33mins 54.1secs, John Bayne 23rd in 2hrs 41min 6.9secs, Andrew Wilson 60th in 3hrs 1mins 39.8secs, Dave McLean 4hrs 10mins 59.1secs. Thanks to our sponsors and all those who assisted in the running and organization of this event.
Here is a lovely report by Sophie Smith about her experiences in her run at the New Zealand Moutain Running Champs, held this year on a really tough course in Wainuiomata, Wellington.
For full results >> Results
So Mountain Running...what a sport! If you combined the steepness of Baldwin street with the descent of an advanced mid-winter ski slope along with a traitorous terrain of just about everything you can imagine then you would come up with something close to what is would expected from a mountain running race. This year the event fully delivered on all aspects of this. The 2019 NZ Mountain Running Champs were held in Wainuiomata, Wellington. Being quite a way from Dunedin I had to splash out on some flights for the weekend, and upon landing at the Wellington airport on the Friday night surrounded by huge gusts of wind and a weather forecast for rain till late morning the next day, I already knew the race would be challenging. But who does not love a good challenge? Regardless of the rain all athletes from around NZ turned up to the start line with their game faces on. Looking around I recognized quite a few new faces along with many of the athletes I had travelled with overseas to previous World Mountain Running races. As the start gun fired there was no letting us ease into it. We went straight up the mountain. Gravel turned into rocks that very soon turned into mud, and then mud, rocks and nettle. We climbed for the first 2.6km and then set about the loop at the top of the course. There was a terrific downhill section soon after the loop started, which took us down a grassy mudslide to a pylon and back up. If you loved downhill and going fast this section was your dream, if you felt the opposite about downhill then this was a nightmare. The rest of the loop consisted of severely steep uphill climbs on and around rock faces, my favourite part, and then a shallow downhill to the start of the loop. If you were doing the 11.5km course here is where you started the loop again. After the second loop my legs felt like jelly and I was quite glad to see the water station marking the descent to the finish line. However, upon examining the final stretch before the start of the race, I was well aware of a hidden danger in the last 100m, the sharp turn from the final downhill towards the finish line. With great care I took this corner as wide as I could, making sure not to do an almighty crash so close to the end. Others however were not so lucky. The finishing shoot was quite glorious with the finishers reward of a chocolate fish and banana. I finished seventh in the NZ Mountain Running race and ninth overall in the Senior Women's grade as we were very fortunate to have two of the Australian Mountain Running athletes come over for the race. I was lucky enough to have support from the Leith Harriers to help me get to Wellington and compete in the Mountain Running Race for the fourth year in a row. They have been such an amazing club to be a part of and are always so supportive of their members.
The club mile took place on Saturday in mild and wet conditions on the grass field opposite the Chingford Park clubrooms. Senior Man Hamish McKinlay won narrowly by just over two seconds from Masters Mens runner Neale McLanachan in 5 minutes 10.2 seconds. Harjinder Chander (SM) was third in 5 minutes 20 seconds. The evergreen Mens 60+ runner Chris Sole finished fifth in 6 minutes 32.6 seconds while Masters Women 50-59 runner Christine Montgomery was sixth in 6 minutes 41.7 seconds. Masters Woman 35-49 runner Siobhan McKinlay finished seventh. We also welcomed back our Canadian import Gaya Gnanalingam who also enjoyed a return to harrier running in Dunedin. See full results below or go to results for all race results:
Placing Name Grade Time
1 Hamish McKinlay SM 5:10
2 Neale McLanachan MM35-49 5:12
3 Harjinder Chander SM 5:20
4 Andrew Lonie MM35-49 5:22
5 Chris Sole MM60+ 6:32
6 Christine Montgomery MW50+ 6:41
7 Siobhan McKinlay MW35-49 6:46
8 Gaya Gnanalingam SW 7:15
Leith's Senior Men's No.1 team of Hamish McKinley, Nathan Hill, Olivier Despatius, Julius Stauffenberg, Liam Chesney and Janus Stauffenberg, who achieved fastest time of 4:03, ran exceptionally well to finish a narrow second in 26:29 to a very strong Hill City University SM1 team which finished 6 seconds ahead in 26:23. Leith were leading the race by the end of the second and third changes but Hill City Uni SM1 managed to take the lead by end of fourth change and keep it till the end despite a fastest time effort of 4:03 from last change runner Janus Stauffenberg. In the earlier races: Leith's Master Men's No.1 team of Danny Baillie, Andrew Lonie, John Bayne and Neale McLanachan was impressive in winning its grade. Baillie had set a blistering pace of 4:42 (fastest grade time) for the first 1500m and the team increased its lead with each change runner to achieve a comfortable win in 19:32. The Leith MM2 team finished fourth, with the Leith MM3 team also running well. The Leith Senior Women's team of Siobhan McKinlay, Rachel Ohlsen, Gaya Gnanalingham and Suzie White finished third and the Leith High School Girls team of Rebecca Dalphin, Vivienne Dalphin, Caitlyn O'Donnell and Rebecca Hill put in a tremendous team effort to win its race. The Leith children also enjoyed some fine running in the children's one-lapper race. See President Chris Sole's report below:
See the ODT article by Wayne Parsons on this race where there is a great
report on Leith's tussle with Hill City University in the Senior Men's
>> Hill City University claims fourth double in a Row - ODT Monday 6 May 2019
Thank you for
your participation on Saturday: either running, time-keeping, lap
counting, encouraging, just turning up and being there, helping find
people who wish to take part. Thank your friends who may have long past
Club Connections but were there. Small things done well, produce
extra-ordinary results. Teams perform greater than each part often because
people believe and care for one another. You are the backbone, the muscle,
the spark, the light. What wonderful Leith participation, performance,
pleasure. Each person gifted the remaining team members the opportunity to
run. This is special and precious. It is one of our visions: to offer a
platform for the Community to participate in a safe, friendly, empowering
environment. Running should be fun, challenging, inspiring. Joy is enough.
report by Chris Sole
For photos and updates visit Leith Facebook
For full info on this event, including latest results, please visit our Leith Cross Country Relays feature page
Sutcliffe, Madgwick set up HCU's third win in a row (ODT Monday 20 May 2019)
report by Marc Boulle
Hill City University Open Mens No. 1 team won the Open Men's 4 x 4km Leith Cross Country Relays on Saturday. The team of Matthew Sutcliffe (2nd fastest time 14:10.4)), Kirk Madgwick, Joel Carmen and Russell Green (fastest time 14:09.7) put in a superb team effort to hold out the Leith Open Men's No. 1 team by just under a minute in 57:38.8. The Leith team of Nathan Cochrane, Nathan Hill, Liam Chesney and Janus Stauffenberg put in a brave effort to finish second in 58:38.6. The Leith Open Men's No.2 team finished third. Ollie O'Sullivan finished with third fastest time of 14:17.4 in the fourth placed Hill City University Open Men's No. 2 team.
The Hill City University Open Women's team of Rebekah Greene (fastest SW 8:14.6), Taryn McLean (fastest MW35 09:07.7), Laura Bungard (fastest HSG 08:33.6) and Kirsty O'Sullivan achieved a comfortable win in the Open Women's 4 x 2km race in 25:55.9. The Caversham Pumas team of Heather Evans MW35, Lehana Reeves, Becky de la Harpe HSG and Heather Evans put in an excellent effort to finish second in 37:50.5. The Leith Open Women's team of Sophie Smith, Gaya Gnanalingham, Erin O'Brien and Claudia Sole finished third in 40:57.6
Leith's Masters Men's 35-49 team of Danny Baillie (fastest MM35 15:41.2), Andrew Lonie (third fastest MM35 15:51.8), Neale McLanachan and Glen Chisholm (second fastest MM35 15:41.8) had a runaway victory in the Master Men's 35-49 grade 4 x 4km relay in an impressive time of 1:03:43.4. The Ariki team of Aaron Porter, Mike Horne, Eddie Smith and Brent Halley MM50 put in a brave effort finishing a clear second in 1:10:51.0. The Leith No. 2 team finished third in 1:15:35.8
Hill City Uni Masters Women 35-49 team of Georgie Pakeho MW35, Cilla Dickinson (2nd fastest MW50 10:45), Sarah Rhodes MW35 Aly Craigie (second fastest MW35 09:59) won the MW 35 grade 4 x 2km relay comfortably in 41:19.3. Caversham Cougars were second in 48:37.3 while Leith finished third in 48:45.2 where Leith Masters Women 60+ runner Jocelyn Springthorpe was second fastest MW60 runner in 14:56.4
The Ariki High School Boys team of Ben Lund (2nd fastest HSB 7:44.8), Nathan Harrison (fastest HSB 7:41.1), Grayson Westgate (third fastest HSB 07:58.7) and Thomas McCracken put in a great team effort to win their 4 x 2km relay in 31:53.3. Both the Hill City Uni High School Boys teams finished second and third respectively.
The Leith High School Girls team of Caitlin O'Donnell, Viviane Dalphin (3rd fastest HSG 08:48.3), Rebecca Dalphin and Rebecca Hill held out the Hill City Uni HSG (2nd) and the Ariki HSG (3rd) teams to finish first in the 4 x 2km relay in 38:02.6. Ariki's Catherine Lund finished with second fastest HSG time of 8:42.9
The Hill City University Intermediate School Boys team of Magnus Pakeho, Lachlan Crumpton (fastest time 09:52.1), Alex Walker and Archie Rhodes finished their 4 x 2km relay race in 44:45.8. The Hill City University Intermediate School Girls team of Lila Rhodes, Heidi Parker, Alice Hancox and Anya Rhodes (fastest time 09:02.4) finished the 4 x 2km relay in 44:47.6
The Ariki Masters 60+ team of Phil Napper (2nd fastest MM60+ 09:22.2). Dalise Sanderson (fastest MW60+ 11:59.2), Gene Sanderson and Alan Nicholls (3rd fastest MM60+ 09:40.1) had a great team run finishing first in the 4 x 2km relay in 41:38.3. Caversham Tigers team of Alistair McAlevey, Stu McCormack, Ian McDonald and Ken Fahey showed what a committed team effort can do by finishin second in 44:34.1. Caversham Jaguars showed the depth Caversham have in this grade by finishing third in 48:36.5. The Leith MM60+ team finished fourth with the Barefoot Mountain Goat and Leith Club President Chris Sole taking out fastest MM60+ time of 9:02.1
The Ariki Green Primary Schools team of Kotomiyo Cowell (fastest time 2:56.7), Maddix Adamson, Riley Horne (3rd fastest time 3:03.6) and Riley Horne won the 4 x 650m relay in 12:37.8. Second was Leith Blue team of Alexander Bork, Roman Meijerink, Tim Niblock and Zac Baillie in 13:15.1. Third was Leith Green team of Georgie Winneke, Lewis Marr, Frankie McKinlay and Archie Mckinlay in 13:22.1. Jesse Willis of the Leith Black team which finished 6th had the second fastest time of 3:02.5
The social 4 x 2km relay race was as always a keenly contested affair with a couple of teams having only one runner running all four laps. It was also great to see the triathletes representing the Dunedin Tri Club out there having a go. The St Pauls Turkeys team of Buddy Small, Buddy Small, Sam McDonald and Lachie Baird won this race in 31:23.3. The Tim Bolter Hill City Uni MM team with Bolter running all four laps finished second in 32:24.0 which was a magnificent effort. The Hill City University MM team of Richard Fogarty (third fastest MM50 8:56.6), Phil Morris MM60, Mike Wakelin MM and Stephen Bloomfield (fastest MM50 08:41.3) finished third in 36:08.2. Russel Lund running for the Ariki Green team (6th) was second fastest MM50 runner in 8:42.2 while Sue Cuthbert running for the same team was fastest MW50 runner in 10:25.9. Karin Drummond running for the ninth place Athletics Taieri team was the third fastest MW50 runner in 10:45.8. Barbara Patrick running for the 13th placed Hill City Uni team was the second fastest MW60+ athlete finishing in 12:57.7. Another highlight was Hill City Uni's Eric Sharpf running all four laps in 40:46.5.
There were two runners doing the Ponydales Challenge which was run for the first time this year at short notice with runners starting with the first race at 12.45pm and continuing to do as many laps as they choose until the end of the day's events, so hopefully we will see others take up this challenge next year. Harjinder Chander of Leith ran 12 x 2km laps completing 24km over a tough cross country course whilst Andrew Glennie of Caversham completed 9 laps for a distance of 18km. Well done guys and it was great to see you out there doing your ultra distance training as part of the Ponydales Challenge.
Thanks and a hearty well done to all those involved in this event: the participants, supporters, helpers and organisers. Every year we endeavour to make this event better than the year before and if there are any improvements that we can make, please let us know! We wish all the athletes all the best for the rest of the season which has some exciting events on the calendar
Full Results available >> results
See some great Shared Pictures of Joe Cowie 5km - 2019 by Sebastian Sole
Sophie Smith wins the 2019 Joe Cowie Memorial 5km
report by Marc Boulle
Sophie Smith won the 2019 Joe Cowie Memorial Handicap 5km Race held on the 1km lap course at Forbury Park Raceway on Saturday. Running off a handicap of seven and a half minutes she setabout the task of catching those in front of her and also keeping out the fast chasing bunch. She finished with a flourish passing second placed Susan Craig in the straight and winning by 15 seconds. She achieved 10th fastest time of 20 minutes 24 seconds.
Susan Craig who started off go, ran well having come back from injury to hold off the fast finishing pack behind her. Gaya Gnanalingam off a handicap of five minutes finished five seconds behind Craig in an exciting sprint finish. Hamish McKinlay finished with fastest time of 17 minutes 21 seconds in 15th position off the scratch handicap of 13 minutes. Men's 20 runner Ben Mitchell off a handicap of 12 minutes finished 8th with second fastest time of 17 minutes 34 seconds. Jonah Belk off a handicap of 12 minutes was third fastest in 18 minutes 9 seconds and 12th across the line. Olivia Thornbury OW was the fastest woman runner achieving a time of 20 minutes 1 second.
Donald Bates opted to complete the distance as a race walk. Starting off go, he completed the 5km walk in 32 minutes 8 seconds.
Jason Palmer pushed his baby daughter around the course in a pram, challenging anyone to beat him. Starting with a handicap of 11 and a half minutes, he ran a very respectable time of 18 mins 34 seconds which was fourth fastest time, almost beating half the field on handicap.
Thanks to all those participants as well as the organisers and assistants who all made this a great day of running for our club.
report by Chris Sole (edited)
Although the weather was cold with scattered rain, a group of twelve runners gathered for runs from Chingford Park on Saturday afternoon. This was supposed to be a combined club run with Ariki and Hill City Uni, but somehow someone spread the rumour that the run was cancelled, which was not the case. Gwynne from Ariki did join us for some great vigorous running towards Bethunes Gully and Forester Park area. The pack of hardy runners consisted of Christine Montgomery, Donald Bates, Gaya Gnanalingam, Gwynn, Jim Flynn, Mark O'Neill and Mark O'Donnell, Nolan Hill, Peter Hughes, Simon, Steve and Chris Sole. The pack ran around the fields and hillside trail track before heading up the road to Forester Park, MTB tracks, fields and then the Bethunes Gulley XC MTB course followed by a climb up to the green-drenched mysteriously stunning view site halfway up to Mt Cargill Summit. A quick descent returned us to Chingford for tea organised by Christine and Mark. The run was ably led by Nolan and Steve. We stopped at many places so everyone could keep together. Peter, Christine, Mark, Gaya and Donald turned back at different times which worked well. Scattered rain, cold, wet, muddy conditions made the run fun and exciting, warm within the pine-needle strewn soft forest floor tracks, ideal for running. Christine, Mark, Simon cleaned up the club rooms, while Donald completed the afternoon by expertly vacuuming the Chingford Lounge floor leaving it spotless for the DCC. Thanks to all who attended the run and helped in its organisation. We hope to see many more members attending these runs in the future - you don't know what you are missing.
For 2019 Results >> Timingsports/Christchurch Marathon 2019
report by Marc Boulle
Leith Harriers had a number of runners competing on a bitterly cold day in Christchurch. In the full marathon, Ultra-Runner Harjinder Chander achieved a personal best of 3hr 34sec (net personal time) coming oh so close to breaking the magical three hour barrier. He finished 55th overall and was 35th in the Men's 20-39 grade. In the half-marathon, Susan Craig finished 24th in the Women's 50-59 grade in the net personal time of 2hr 6min 37sec. Michael Walker finished 56th overall out of 1052 runners, 41st in the Men's 20-39 grade in a personal best time of 1hr 24min 13sec (net personal time). Danny Baillie finished 33rd overall and 3rd in the Master Men's 40-49 grade(VM race designation) in 1hr 20min 02sec (personal net time). Apologies if some times and positions were initially incorrect, but it appears there was a change to some results. All times here are based on the personal net times of the runners not on the official start (gun time) and finish times. Yes, it can get confusing but most runners cross the start line after the gun has gone due to size of fields. So the actual time for the race distance (net time) for each runner is from the moment they step on the start matt until they step on the finish matt which is the called the net time. Your measure of personal best timing is on the net time. Official placings and medal awards are based only on when you cross the finish line from the gun time, and not on net times and placings. See results link above for full set of results.
For full detail on this great event >> Mt Difficulty Ascent Running Races
Well done to Leith athletes competing in the aptly named Mt. Difficulty marathon in central otago on Saturday. Steve Tripp smashed it coming first in his age group and taking 30mins of his PB. Steve's time was 6hrs 11mins and finished 10th overall. Harry James also ran the marathon finishing in 6hrs 39mins finishing 11th in age group and 15th overall. Jonah Belk also ran in the 25km race and came first in the open male age group in a time of 3.09.40 finishing 2nd overall!! Steven Morrison did the flatter Half-Marathon (solo category) in 1:31:30 finishing first overall.
Below is Harry James's wonderful introspective view of the Mt Difficulty Race where he tackled the 44km Mountain Marathon.
The race briefing was in the wine-making facility at the foot of the hill where the wine tasting room for Mt. Difficulty winery appeared atop. Concrete floors supported aluminium-looking fermentation silo's a table on the right for checking in with race officials, and a table on the left for getting gear checked. This year I knew that I wanted to do my best in the 44km mountain marathon; last year I wasn't expecting to run until an hour or so before the 25km mountain race. I was nervous. There were a few familiar faces and talking with my friend and two other friends helped settle my nerves. My friend and I checked-in right before the race briefing began. The race director and main sponsor (Mt Difficulty Winery), representative, talked about the race, described the course, and warned of the forecasted inclement weather - snow, wind, wet, and generally unpleasant conditions. I was keen to head straight to my friend's place to eat, have a chat, and get ready for bed.
I woke around 5:00AM but got out of bed around 5:15AM. The wind was slamming into the windows and forcing water-drops against the glass, the bed was nice but I wanted to run, and run fast. I was talking with other runners during the race briefing, and I mentioned that I wanted to win the race, this was after mentioning that I wanted to do my best and run fast. Although, I didn't hesitate from engaging in pre-race banter, and it would turn out to be just that about 22km into the race. We began the race a bit late, not all runners had their transponders, but those who did have their transponders wanted to get moving so they walked to the race start on the road. The race director was quick to herd the other runners into the starting position and proceeded to the race countdown faster than a countdown in common-second time. We ran along a road turn left onto trail and began the run. At the first juncture, some fast runners took a wrong turn, but I think two of those fast runners still won their races - they were still fast. Thankfully, and experienced runner encouraged those that weren't quite as fast to trust them and go right at the juncture which felt right for me.
The first climb was a good warm-up for the two crawling climbs that were yet to come, but the cross-wind was racing across the direction I wanted to race in. I adjusted my posture and watched a fellow runner get closer to the ground and drive her hands into her quads to power her way up the hill. I decided I should model my movements to theirs, and I stayed with that runner after the first crawl-climb along the water-race and then along the ridge (my favourite part of the race) and then we parted - they went right back to the finish and I went left to head towards the second bigger, crawl-climb to the top of Mt Difficulty. It was warmer than expected, muggy, unusual Central Otago Weather; after, climbing above the thyme, matakauri, and schist slope, it cleared, and the goat tracks turned into open tussock and Spaniard fields with a walkable/hike-able gradient. The sun popped over the Pisa Range and was welcome energy to the cooler, familiar, sharp Central Otago air that I missed. Around this time other runners were beginning to pass me, and I learnt my first lesson of this race: poles would have been a good choice to have had - I didn't listen to two people's advice. Then, I started to get light-headed as I climbed higher towards the summit, the views were incredible and I was dissociating from monitoring my pace, food and fluid intake, to thinking about a song, family and friends, work, and actually making sure that I would finish the race. I realised that I wasn't going to win at this point. I had to finish the race.
After reaching the snow-line near the summit, I was surprised that there wasn't much snow. Good for running and also good for running with sun-glasses. But the views were incredible: to my left, the Kawarau River, Cromwell and Bannockburn, Lake Dunstan, and Northburn; in front of me was Nokomai, I think; and, to my right was Mt Rosa, Gibbston, and in the Distance, maybe Skippers. A nice view to distract myself from the cramp I was experiencing, and a fellow runner/friend reminded me of the surrounding beauty after the race which took the focus of my own pain. Another lesson I feel. From then on it was a rolling 4wd track, a climb, and a longer descent, back to the wine-making facility for the three options available (chips, pizza, beer/fizzy), a real treat; and, a reception from the race director and chats with fellow runners, friends, and my dad. It was hard to accept that I wasn't going to win. Despite having to reappraise ambitious goals before the race to new goals during the race (i.e., realistically set my goals), I was really pleased with how I coped with working through cramp around 26km into the race. I talked myself into walking well, then jogging well, then running well; my negative thoughts/talk were reframed into positive thoughts/talk and I reminded myself of what I wanted to do rather than what I did not want to do.
In sum, there were: many lessons learnt, laughs had with friends before, during, and after the race, dramatic weather that complemented the terrain, enthusiastic race organisers/volunteers, a rainbow, a river, scrubs/ prickles and thyme, a mountain among mountains and a lake, other people wahooing like Chris does, and the opportunity to run. A grounding experience. Thank you for reading.
For full details including 2019 results for event >> Leith's Barnes Cross Country Info Page
The Leith Harriers Men won the Open Men's team prize over the 5km course. With six runners to count for the team prize: First Leith finisher was Andrew Lonie who finished third, in quick succession were Neale McLanachan (fourth), Luke McKinlay (fifth), Chris Sole (sixth), Hamish McKinlay (eighth) and finally our sixth runner was Simon Leaning (nineteenth). This was a strong team showing. Glen Chisholm (Masters 35-49, time 18:22) was the fastest Leith runner finishing with seventh fastest time overall. Not to be outdone, the Leith Women put in a great effort finishing as second team in the 3.75km course. With three team members to count: Gaya Gnanalingam (fourth), Siobhan McKinlay (fifth) and Christine Montgomery (eleventh). Suzie White (Under 20 runner) was the fastest Leith Woman finishing with fourth fastest time of 16:48. Viviane Dalphin running as UNA Under 16 runner was fastest over the Women's U18 grade 2.5km race in 10:26 finishing fourth on handicap. More photos and more news on this event will be available here soon!
Millennium Track Social Run
report by Bradley Goodall
Runners from a range of Dunedin clubs converged on the idyllic Taieri Mouth this afternoon to join a group run along what must be the prettiest run in the area; the Millennium track. For those of us who ran both ways, a mix up at the start lead to what Danny described as "the most anti-social social run ever". However, much more fortunately it was not enough to spoil the run on what must be one of the best mid-June days anyone could hope for. The undulating technical surface and a couple of good hard climbs made even the fittest of us work. But the dense bush let just enough of the shining sun through, and those who made it to the seat were rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding bush and river as is meanders down the gully to the ocean. As I returned, I came across many (much more social) groups walking or running and appreciating the event, the scenery and the company. An absolutely brilliant way to spend a gorgeous winters afternoon!
An absolutely stunning afternoon running
report by Chris Sole
An absolutely stunning afternoon running along this beautiful native-bush lined track with the occasional glimpses of the meandering river far below. This almost mid-Winter gift, shared with friends. Walking out and back to the view site: Gisela, Di and children, Hope and Hillary, Greg. Running out and back: Danny, Bradley, Simon, Chris, Stu, Gene, Dalise Running from the Henley end after taking the Bus: Tim and Matthew Bolter, Siobhan, Christine, Harjinder, and more from other Clubs.
Taieri Millennium Track Combined Clubs Run
report by Siobhan McKinlay
Taieri Mouth is a special place to our family, a place where we have spent many happy summer days. Today at almost the shortest day of the year it could've been summer, with warm sun, mild temperatures and no wind at all, meaning after the first climb up from the Henley end, all winter layers were off and it was singlet and shorts weather. There were a variety of groups and starting times due to communication glitches at the start. This meant for those of us that took the bus from Knarston Park to Henley and ran back towards Taieri Mouth we started small and bumped into runners coming from the other end as we went - some for a quick hello and not to be seen again; others we gathered up along the way.
It was great to see walkers, runners, young and old and one very happy dog enjoying the track, and a good chance to catch up with familiar faces and meet some new ones from other clubs. From Leith: Harjinder, Donald, Christine, Chris, Gisela, Simon and partner, Bradley, Danny, Greg and Stu enjoyed running, walking and views. The track was quite tricky, with some punishing climbs (that made me think now might be the time to start training for Three Peaks next year!) and a combination of tree roots, slippery muds and hard packed track that meant you had to be careful of where you put your feet most of the time, with a few nice patches of soft pine needles and flat track down by the river to relax into. There was no wind at all meaning the views that opened up from time to time of the forest and river were still and beautiful.
A stunning run with great company, a good workout and million-dollar views. Definitely a track to return to again soon. Siobhan McKinlay
Rebecca Dalphin and her sister Viviane Dalphine enjoyed the
Cross Country Champs
Here is their account of their experience
Over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of June the National Cross Country Championships (For secondary Schools) were held. Viviane and I travelled to Timaru to compete. It was by far the biggest event I had ever competed in, with my race having over 100 girls, and Viviane's had just under 100. The course was very nice to run, especially with the inclusion of quite a few hills, and some hurdles. We ran both days, in the individual race, followed by the Otago team relay the next day. The weather was surprisingly sunny both days, although the frost early on Sunday made the race at 9 a little more challenging, but still very fun. And I was so focused on the race on Saturday that I didn't notice it was drizzling! Over the course of the weekend Viviane came 14th in her individual race, while I came in the middle of the field, and in the team event the Otago Junior team (Viviane's) came 8th, while mine (Senior Otago team) came 10th. In all the races were extremely fun, with a good course, and I'm sure Viviane and I will be keen to compete in next year's race.
Venue: Start - Neptune/Magnet Streets. Enjoy a run along the west harbour recreation trail to St.Leonards and back
We had 59 hardy runners take part tonight in great winter running conditions. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and managed to achieve your own targets tonight. Thanks to all the volunteers tonight who made this possible. Results are available >> Leith Harbour Free
Caversham Harriers hosted Ariki and Leith from the Flagstaff Community Church (9 Centennial Ave, Helensburgh, Dunedin) for runs and walks up the Pineapple Track. Leith Harriers thanks Caversham Harriers for their hospitality in hosting this event. Here are some accounts of this event from runners who took part.
I'd like to run up there one day
by Simon Leaning (Sat, 22 June 2019)
Since moving to Dunedin late last year, I'd looked at the dark windswept hills at the back of town and thought "I'd like to run up there one day..." Well, I now got my chance. I set out from home in Ravensbourne after having memorised my route to the Centennial Ave starting point in Helensburgh-figured it'd be a nice warmup... and it was, with some good hills and one or two wrong turns. I made the venue as the slower group were leaving and decided to go out with the medium paced runners at 1:30. Being early provided the time to meet new people and strike up conversation and before long familiar faces began to arrive.We set out at a relaxed trot-talking, stopping every so often to wait for others and generally taking in the scenery. Once we got off-road, I started to pick up my pace a bit (I knew it wasn't a race - it just felt good to be going up a gear)! We'd been through the Ross Creek area in the dark, on a Monday night run and I was certainly making the most of it during the day... we then began the climb towards Flagstaff summit, I'd heard about this place and it was a pleasure to be running there, with like minded people-and realising that I was finally on that dark windswept hill! I also had the other two peaks of the infamous Three Peaks Mountain Race pointed out to me..."ouch" was all I could think. We stopped at the summit, gathered around the pipe and chatted with the slower group which had gone out earlier, thinking to myself, it was a good move not to have gone out with the faster group at 2pm! From there we bounded down towards the bottom, being careful to negotiate the rocks and boulders - the flax, tussock, low scrub, mud, cold and grey cloud reminded one of Dun Mountain in Nelson, I certainly felt at home. We reached the car park,had one more regroup and then headed along the main road towards town - it was a nice feeling, not really knowing where I was going or how to get there, just enjoying somewhere new and relying on the guidance and direction of others. We eventually made it back to our starting point where there was more socialising,smiles and laughte - it would've been nice to have hung around and had chips and a ginger beer at the after-run function... I had to get back home, so after saying my farewells, I jogged slowly (and rather painfully) back to Ravensbourne - and our place - on top of another bloody hill! A great afternoon, good company, good conditions and a damn good run!
We were all in awe of the view
by Stu Hodges (Sat, 22 June 2019)
I arrived at the start at Wakari Church just before 1pm to a great gathering of enthusiastic people of all ages keen for a walk jog or run over the Pineapple Track. I was asked to lead the medium runners pack as some people in the group had never been over the course before. Our group was 12 eager souls and we were joined by two more starters who caught us up on Wakari Rd. We ran to the top of Tanner Rd where we had a regroup and checked everyone was ready for the big ascent. We set off with the water tap our next stop for those that needed it and then the next break was the Swampy Junction. We were all in awe of the view over the city and most were happy that the final climb was not as testing as what we had just done. Our goal of the summit was soon in sight and the track ahead was soon very colourful with runners from the 1pm start spreadout in front of us. What an amazing sight it was to have so many of us at the top and the banter between us all was priceless. We set off down towards the bullpen and some showed their downhill prowness. We all got safely back to Three Mile Hill Rd for our last regroup then it was the final leg back to the church. Everybody still had the same wide smiles on their faces as they did at the start but with a huge sense of accomplishment. Well done to everyone and thanks to Caversham Club for overseeing the organising for the day.
For more on this event - photos, more stories from runners and results visit our Edmond Cup 2019 Feature Page
Leith Men's team of Glen Chisholm (1st), Andrew Lonie (3rd), Nathan Hill (4th), Danny Baillie (7th), Harjinder Chander (15th), and Simon Leaning (18th) won the Open Men's W F Edmond Challenge Cup for the team title with 48 points. Glen Chisholm had a magnificent run to lead the Leith Men's team to victory winning the Open Men Individual Winner Edmond Cup for first Otago registered runner . His time was 17 minutes 10 seconds for the tough 5km course and he finished second overall and was the first Master Men's 35-49 runner. Andrew Lonie also had a great run finishing fourth overall and was second MM35-49 in 17 minutes 27 seconds. Nathan Hill who finished fifth overall was the first Men's Under 20 runner in 17 minutes 29 seconds winning the J W Geddes Cup - Men U20 Individual Winner. Danny Baillie finished eighth overall and was the first Master Men's 50+ runner in 17 minutes 45 seconds.
Hill City University and Leith enjoyed the hospitality of Ariki Harriers for a handicapped 5km Cross Country race at Rotary Park, Highcliff Road. Initially meeting at Ariki's club rooms at the Guthrie Pavilion, Bayfield Park then with Ray Knox and a small group running from there up to the course at Rotary Park with others opting to drive up there, the scene was set for some keen cross country racing. The new course was challenging and varied with many hills and at one stage some tree roots to negotiate - it was an ideal cross country course and definitely gets the Cross Country Foundation tick. The weather was ideal with a cool breeze, overcast but no rain and the going was dry, so thankfully no mud to splash through, although some there would undoubtedly have relished muddy conditions. The course was run over 4 x 1.25 km laps for a full distance of 5km.
Most of the field ran well to their handicaps. The Leith contingent of Stu Hodges, Christine Montgomery, Ray Knox and Marc Boulle were competing against each other in a Leith race within a race. Marc Boulle was the first off at 4 minutes but only managed to survive two laps before calling it quits. Stu Hodges was next off at 10 minutes finishing in 35 minutes 58 seconds (actual time 25:58) and he managed to hold off the fast finishing Christine Montgomery who was off 12 minutes 30 seconds. Christine finished in 37 minutes 21 seconds and was the fastest Leith runner with a time of 24 minutes 51 seconds. She had to take a break along the course which cost her probably one minute. Next to finish was Ray Knox, off 11 minutes 30 seconds. He was passed by Christine along the way and he finished in 37 minutes 43 seconds with third fastest time of 26 minutes 13 seconds. Other Leith members present in various capacities were Margaret Knox, Greg Johnston and Jim Flynn. Leith thanks Ariki Harriers for a really enjoyable cross country run and for the refreshments and socialising back at the Guthrie Pavilion afterwards.