Event History

The Idea

It began as no more than a thought and a gasped snatch of conversation as a group of local Huntly joggers pounded the streets on a crisp Sunday morning November run.

In 1980, a group of local Huntly runners Brian Curle, Stan Alder, and Murray Allen thought that a race of perhaps the half marathon distance could be held in Huntly and attract a few local runners. By early December the idea had crystallised into a plan. A plan to stage a unique road race that fitted in as a lead up race to the upcoming prestigious Auckland Marathon along the waterfront which was scheduled for early February and it was thought that a hard training run over the half distance a few weeks before would be both attractive and beneficial to entrants.

The date of 21 February was decided on but hang on the track series is on that night so Thursday 22 Feb was chosen to avoid the televised track series race the day before. 6pm was the start time chosen.

The 1981 Huntly mini marathon was hastily organised with the support of local businesses Doug Morris Ltd, Richard Tregoweth of the Huntly Press and Murray Allen of Allen Fabrics. No budget existed initially in the pre race planning and yet a $1000 worth of prizes had been advertised so there was a hasty canvassing of local businesses for prizes. On race day 150 turned up.

Today the Huntly Half is one of the iconic road races on the national calendar and it has developed a quarter century tradition which annually attracts some of the biggest fields for a half marathon. It has become a people’s event where participation is the key. Athletes are well serviced by the organisers and for many it is their first introduction to running. The addition of a 10km in 1996 when the Hamilton City Hawks took over the organisation of the event has assisted in its growth.

This is the story of the Huntly Half and interwoven within it is a rich record of New Zealand distance running. As a passionate coach, administrator and event organiser with half a century of involvement in athletics and now retired it has been a pleasure to pen this account of a great and prestigious running event.

Murray McKinnon nationally recognised and respected as a media personality in sport has been very helpful in providing historical information from his huge collection, as has current race director Graham Dudfield. Thanks also to Brian Curle for his input, Huntly resident and running nut Brian Smith and Dale Kirk for allowing me access to their scrapbooks. There are still many stories out there to be told about this half marathon. Hopefully they will come to light at the twenty fifth running of the event and be added to this ongoing historical record.


The first race started outside the Huntly Police Station and took in Hakanoa, Russell and Rosser Streets thence back into Hakanoa and a lap around the Lake Hakanoa domain, over the railway footbridge into the main street and across the Waikato River footbridge then out along Harris St to the 14km turn around past the power station and return.

John Graham Scotland preparing for the waterfront marathon ran 66.38 to win while Alison Roe was 15th with 75.20. Other runners followed at varying intervals and the Huntly main street was abuzz with runners and their supporters as the event finished outside Doug Morris Ltd now the home of major current event sponsor Retravision Huntly.

The 1981 venture was voted a success and planning started much earlier to repeat the race next year. Three major sponsors provided the initial sponsorship with Doug Morris Ltd and Huntly Press guaranteeing $1000 sponsorship each and Allen Fabrics in conjunction with Pfaff Sewing Machines provided a $1000 sewing machine. Other local businesses came on board and a $5000 prize list eventuated.

The Hamilton Harrier Club were brought on board to handle timing, results and marshalling and so begin the Hamilton club’s long association with the event that continues to this day.


540 runners took part in the Huntly Press/Doug Morris half marathon and John Walker at 30 wins his first half marathon in 64.45 as part of his build up for a European summer of track racing.

Walker running his first half marathon was in great shape going into the race having won the Fresh Up 10km road race the week before in Wellington in smart time.

Walker shared the road at 10km with pace making 22 year old schoolteacher Graeme Holden and Walker’s Manurewa clubmates Bruce Blair and Dave Currie. Holden pushes through 10km in 31.40 for a 2 second lead on Walker who cranks up the pace between 10 and 15km to lead by 16 seconds. Over the last 6km he is cranking out each km in 3.00 minutes to win handsomely to the applause of locals as he finishes down the main street outside the home appliance store of sponsor Doug Morris.

Walker looked completely relaxed smiling and waving to his young daughter as he cruised to the finish in impressive time. Holden on 65.53 is second and Currie claims third in 76.01. Huntly’s Dale Kirk 28 year old teacher ran 69.07.

Back in the field, petite 19 year old BSc student Wendy Hancock had set a blistering pace in the women’s half heading for a fast world class time of 71.45. Fresh from winning the national Fresh-up 10km final the week before Hancock was in great shape. Flying through the 5km in 17.01 ahead of Debbie Elsmore and Dianne Rodger. Elsmore’s coach Gordon Pirie calls out they are going too fast. He adds of Hancock “she can’t do that. It would be a world record”.

At 10km in 34.25, Hamilton Harrier Club’s Hancock has buttoned off the pace a little but leads by 51 seconds from Rodger. Cruising to the finish, Hancock clocks 72.00 a race record knocking 3m 20 off Alison Roes record of the previous year. National cross country champion Dianne Rodger 74.56 and Elsmore 76.39 are next. As it was her first half marathon a just slightly red faced Hancock shrugged her shoulders at the finish when asked if she knew what the world record was adding “I didn’t know how fast you’re supposed to run” when told she was just 44 seconds outside the fastest run in the world that year.

Brian Curle race convenor and his Huntly clubmates had turned a small town race into an athletic event of national significance within a year. The field was so large that the main street outside sponsor Doug Morris couldn’t cope and so a new start finish point was looked for.

Back in the field of ’82 organisers Brian Curle 26th 73.25, Murray Allen 57th 77.51, Stan Alder 103rd 82.16 must have been very proud of what they had introduced for coal town Huntly and were planning for a bumper year for race three.

The rugby ground on the west bank of the Waikato River was chosen for 1983 as it had the parking available to cope with all the competitors. The start was to be near the memorial hall.

The Doug Morris/Huntly Press Half Marathon results:


  1. John Walker Manurewa 64.45
  2. Graham Holden Otahuhu 65.53
  3. Dave Currie Manurewa 67.01
  4. Euan Robertson Hamilton 67.13
  5. Bruce Blair Manurewa 67.20
  6. Dale Kirk Huntly 69.07
  7. Murray Hunt CYM 69.47
  8. Warwick Lightbourne Oawiraka 70.22
  9. Rhett Nichol NSB 70.31
  10. Francis Lowe Otahuhu 70.54


  1. Wendy Hancock Hamilton 72.00
  2. Dianne Rodger Hamilton 74.55
  3. Debbie Elsmore Otahuhu 76.39
  4. Wendy McFall Hamilton 82.35
  5. Mary Rogerson Hamilton 83.30
  6. Jenni Neilson CYM 87.48
  7. Lorraine Dudfield Tokoroa 89.20


So many turned up for race three in 1983 that the 1550 entries created a huge traffic jam and the start had to be delayed 15 minutes to allow all entrants trying to park at the finish line at the rugby club time to arrive at the new start line.

There were $11,500 worth of prizes up for grabs. The event produced a classic contest. John Walker won again in 63.46 but not without difficulty and in doing so showed the undoubted quality and class that nationally had made him a household name.

Wellington’s Gary Weston Webb charged to the front and quickly had the large field strung out. He was still in command at 4km but international marathon star Trevor Wright formerly of England but now resident in Tauranga then hit the front and kept the pace honest and steered the field over the railway bridge and down the Huntly main street. Then drama. Pre race favourite John Walker running in second spot was seen to slow to a walk at 7.5km then double over with stomach cramps and stop.

Seven places were dropped as Walker fought the cramp and the field swept past. Walker shuffled back into action while out in the lead there was more drama as leader Wright ran off course and expatriate kiwi Canberra based Derek Froude swept to the lead. Froude went through 10km exiting the river footbridge in 30.10 with Wright 9 seconds back.

Walker still not running freely was back into 6th but still some 39 seconds adrift of Froude. The out and back slog over the final 11 km on the west bank of the Waikato River saw Walker edge his way through the field. Over the 8kms from when he stopped and commenced running again Walker ran successive kilometres between 2.50 and 2.54 and by 16km, he had joined leader Froude.

After matching strides for a while, Walker eased ahead and by 20km he was well clear. Running negative splits the second 10km was 2 minutes faster for Walker and he finished strongly in a course best of 63.46 some 20 seconds clear of Froude in 64.06 with Weston Webb a minute back, third ahead of Max Cullum, Stan Grime and Neil Blayney.

In the women’s section Dianne Rodger 75.48 was first ahead of Rosemary Wright and Barbara Moore. It was obvious that the flat course plan, the unique footbridge crossings of both railway and river, and the fast run out past the power station enabled top runners to gain fast times and it was also an athlete friendly course for the average fun runner.

The 1983 race had an in depth field with the top 24 runners breaking 70 minutes while 4 women including veteran Rosemary Wright broke 80 minutes. The NZ Runner said “suddenly Huntly has one of the country’s biggest and best road races. Organiser Brian Curle brought together an international class field. Huntly sleepy Waikato town, population about 6500 best known for a new power station and stacks of coal now has to add half marathon” to its reputation.


  1.  John Walker Manurewa 63.46
  2. Derek Froude Australia 64.05
  3. Trevor Wright Tauranga 65.00
  4. Gary Weston Webb Wellington 66.11
  5. Max Cullum Lynndale 66.22
  6. Stan Grime Hamilton 66.48
  7. Neil Blayney Owairaka 66.59
  8. Bernie Walker University 67.33


  1. Dianne Rodger Hamilton 75.48
  2. Rosemary Wright Tauranga 65.40
  3. Barbara Moore Otahuhu 77.08
  4. Wendy Hancock Hamilton 78.15
  5. Diane Taylor Masterton 80.25
  6. Jenni Neilson CYM 80.40
  7. Christine Munro Owairaka 83.27
  8. Lorraine Dudfield Tokoroa 84.56


1984 saw another change of course with the start finish now close together near the rugby club.

Rotowaro Rd was used for the start to give a straight run on to the Tainui Bridge. The finish was again at the rugby grounds. The field was up again to 1650 and again attracted a top class field.

Peter Renner Christchurch 63.50 won convincingly, but there was a real close tussle for the next three places with two seconds covering the next three to finish. Alain Lazare France 64.21, Steve Austin Melbourne 64.21, Dick Quax University 64.23.

Wendy Hancock 75.06, Wendy Renner Christchurch 76.52, Christine Morriss Te Awamutu 78.08, were the leading women.

Local school teacher and Los Angeles Olympian Tony Rogers runs 67.50. Tony’s presence on the world distance scene and his hosting of 5000 world record holder Dave Moorcroft who spent some months living and training with Rogers in Huntly had helped promote the local half on the international running stage as an event to participate in.

$8000 worth of spot prizes were allocated for the fun runner. Terry Manners Napier set the benchmark for veteran men with a 68.49 clocking. Heather Matthews Kerikeri was a notable entrant and her clash with Judith Hine New Plymouth was eagerly awaited in the veteran women’s section.

Tui Rupe Manurewa one of the world’s fastest blind runners was also featured in pre race publicity.

The Doug Morris/Huntly Press Half Marathon results:


  1. Peter Renner New Brighton 63.50
  2. Alain Lazare New Caledonia 64.21
  3. Steve Austin Melbourne 64.21
  4. Dick Quax University 64.23
  5. Barry Thompson Hawkes Bay 65.02
  6. Peter Scott Lynndale 66.51
  7. Bernie Walker University 67.23
  8. Tony Rogers Huntly 67.52
  9. Paul Herlihy Manurewa 68.40
  10. Terry Manners Vet Napier 69.49


  1. Wendy Hancock Hamilton 75.06
  2. Wendy Renner Christchurch 76.51
  3. Christine Morriss Hamilton 78.08
  4. Gail Rear Whangarei 78.49
  5. Glenys Kroon Palmerston N 80.03


French Olympian Alain Lazare wins from a record field of 2300 with the course centre again being based on the rugby grounds.

There were $16,000 worth of prizes and the major sponsors were Doug Morris Town and Country and the Huntly Press.

Jody Kearns Cambridge set a furious pace going through 1km in 2.36 and 2km in 5.39. Geoff Shaw towed the chasing field through 5km in a fast 14.46 ahead of Lazare who led a group of Shane Marshall, Don Greig, Murray Fleming and Stan Grime.

10km clipped by in 30.00. As the tall chimneys of the Huntly power station loomed, the diminutive Lazare and lanky Marshall battled into the head wind. From 16km, Lazare produced a brilliant turn of speed running the last 5kms so fast that he cleared out to win in 62.44, a race record clipping more than a minute from the record.

Matamata lawyer Marshall was through in 63.35 also under John Walker’s record in 63.55. Shaw in his debut half was third in 64.32 while Murray Fleming ran a PB 65.59.

Tikipunga High School teacher Gail Rear won in 73.25 and was doubly elated beating twice winner and record holder Wendy Hancock 74.51 and 1983 winner Dianne Rodger 75.14.

Robert Joy finished 10th overall in 66.26 to take the masters men while Gil Dunning 79.09 was a clear masters women’s winner.

The twists and turns over the railway footbridge and the river footbridge slowed his pace claimed Lazare who said he could go 20-30 seconds faster.


  1.  Alain Lazare New Caledonia 62.44 Record
  2. Shane Marshall Auckland Univ 63.35
  3. Geoff Shaw Takapuna 64.32
  4. Murray Fleming Tokoroa 64.59
  5. Paul Herlihy Manurewa 65.10
  6. Don Grieg Christchurch 65.24
  7. Stan Grime Hamilton 65.52
  8. Ken Maloney Hamilton 65.58
  9. Murray McPherson Whangarei 66.23
  10. Graeme Holden Otahuhu 66.27


  1. Gail Rear Whangarei 73.25
  2. Wendy Hancock Hamilton 74.51
  3. Diane Rodger Hamilton 75.14
  4. Hazel Stewart Owairaka 76.57
  5. Christine Morris Hamilton 77.07
  6. L Lawrence New Plymouth 79.09
  7. Jillian Costley Napier 79.38
  8. Robyn McCondach Hamilton 81.53
  9. Carol Raven Wellsford 82.05
  10. Margaret Baxter Takapuna 82.38


Huntly Press produces a five year souvenir issue and the event attracted 1800 runners.

Last minute entry Rex Wilson ran a sizzling race record of 62.43 for a national best time. The fast time was on after a sizzling first 5km in 14.22 with Wilson, Hoyle and Marshall in company. Wilson broke away after 6km and went through the 10 km in 29.35 and won easily from Shane Marshall and Adam Hoyle Australia.

Local Dale Kirk ran one of his best races of his life to finish fourth in a PB 66.44, while Wendy Renner took out the women’s race in 77.42 after battling leg cramps after 11km and had to stop at each drink to the finish to take on water.

Graham Tattersall Wellington won the masters section 68.28 from Fred Smith Owairaka 68.51.

With 150 officials involved, the event had become a huge year long commitment to the organisers and was proving too much for the innovative Brian Curle and his small team.


  1. Rex Wilson Hastings 62.43
  2. Shane Marshall Matamata 64.59
  3. Adam Hoyle Australia 65.45
  4. Dale Kirk Huntly 66.44
  5. Russell Haswell Takapuna 68.23
  6. Nick Helms North Shore 68.38
  7. Brett McIntrye Takapuna 68.45
  8. Bruce Blair Manurewa 69.14
  9. Paul Fey Manurewa 69.28
  10. Murray Hunt CYM 69.36


  1. Wendy Renner Christchurch 77.42
  2. Brenda Ballinger New Plymouth 78.38
  3. Glenys Kroon Owairaka 79.20
  4. Bernie Portenski Scottish 79.45
  5. Dianne Rodger Hamilton Harr. 79.58
  6. Lesley Morton Takapuna 81.27
  7. Judith Hine New Plymouth 81.27
  8. Madie Werner NSB 82.54


Brian Curle stepped down for health and work reasons after six years of dedication as organiser of the event.

There was a threat that the event would fold. It certainly was at the crossroads. The country was in the grip of economic recession and retrenchment had seen the Huntly coal mining workforce slashed and it appeared that the town was falling apart at the coal seams.

The prospect that Huntly’s major sporting event the half marathon was in danger of lapsing would be another blow to a town already reeling with redundancy in mining and growing unemployment as national economic changes hit hard.

After some delay, two keen Papakura athletes took up the late challenge. Papakura Harrier secretary John Preston was in Huntly for 16 months as relieving stationmaster and with Peter Thornton, set up the race in two months without sponsorship, adopting a Save the Huntly Half Marathon theme. Together in partnership, increasingly with the Hamilton Harrier Club who provided marshals and timing support ran the event until 1995.

In excess of 1200 runners took part. An interesting entrant was Tui Rupe who with Paul Ryken as his guide was setting the pace for world blind runners.

The race was started by 13 year old Lawrence Wallis, a scout as the organisers wanted youth to be involved in this year’s race. A group of seven set the pace with eventual winner Trevor Wright Tauranga, Euan Robertson, Callum Henderson Papakura, Peter Handcock Rotorua, John Caie Tauranga, and Scott Thompson Pakuranga.

By 11 km, Dale Kirk was setting the pace. At the turn past the power station, the turning drum had been incorrectly placed and 400 added to the course. Local school teacher than normal. Wright applied the pressure and Kirk drifted off. With further surges, Wright dropped Robertson at 19 km and went away to win by 14 seconds in 67.57.

Kirk struggled into third after blowing a calf muscle with 5km to run and clock 67.57.

Dick Quax coached Hamilton dentist Marguerite Buist led the womens’ field throughout to win in 76.11 from Gail Rear Whangarei, Diane Rodger Hamilton Harriers, and Hazel Stewart Owairaka.

The Goodhue family of Huntly led by 18 year old Kerry who finished an excellent 14th, dad, mum and twin sisters all took part.

Local star Dale Kirk praised Kerry’s run saying he had loads of potential.

Laser Huntly Half Marathon results:


  1. Trevor Wright Tauranga 67.57
  2. Euan Robertson Tokoroa 68.11
  3. Dale Kirk Hamilton 68.20
  4. Peter Handcock Lake City 69.55
  5. Scott Thompson Pakuranga 70.12
  6. John Caie Tauranga 71.25
  7. Bruce Blair Wellington 71.31
  8. Rhett Nicol NSB 71.44
  9. Alan Laughlin Pakuranga 71.00
  10. John MacDonald YMCA 73.01


  1. Marguerite Buist Hamilton 76.11
  2. Gail Rear Whangarei 77.03
  3. Diane Rodger Hamilton 77.54
  4. Hazel Stewart Owairaka 78.45
  5. Rose Henry Takapuna 80.50
  6. Sharon Duker Takapuna 86.00
  7. Selina Bevan Lake City 86.04
  8. Evelyn Mills New Plymouth 86.32


A Market Day was set up by the local Huntly Business Association to capitalise on the many visitors to town for the 1988 event. It proved to be very successful.

Coal Corp was a major new sponsor. Wind and rain greeted the runners.

Chris Pilone fresh from being the second placed New Zealander at the World Cross Country Championships at Ellerslie was keen to run a fast time and led a Takapuna charge with Phil Morton and Peter Williams.

Pilone was disappointed with his winning time of 67.05 as he prepared for a Minnesota marathon later in the year. Morton and Williams completed a Takapuna trifecta.

Marguerite Buist took out the women’s race in 74.14 by over a minute from Gail Rear with Takapuna’s Lesley Morton running a PB in third while local Huntly junior Kerry Goodhue improved his placing to 13th clocking 72.55.


  1. Chris Pilone Takapuna 67.05
  2. Phillip Morton Takapuna 67.37
  3. Peter Williams Takapuna 67.44
  4. David Sirl NSB 68.28
  5. Dave Drummond Pakuranga 68.33
  6. Fred Smith NSB 68.41
  7. Brian McKerrow New Plymouth 68.46
  8. Richard Hall Hamilton 69.23
  9. Sep Odermatt Owairaka 69.36
  10. Murray Hunt CYM 70.15


  1. Marguerite Buist Hamilton 74.14
  2. Gail Rear Whangarei 75.25
  3. Lesley Morton Takapuna 77.28
  4. Ngaire Drake Wellington 77.34
  5. Raewyn O’Donnell Tauranga 78.14
  6. Sharon Higgins Owairaka 80.12
  7. Jenny Smith NSB 80.18
  8. Stephanie Barfoot Takapuna 80.30


A new sponsor was found, and the event became the Electricorp Huntly Power Station Half marathon, although Coalcorp continued to be a sponsor as well.

The course was newly certified by an AIMS measurer, and this year’s race proved to be a thriller.

Pre race favourite John Campbell had turned 40 and was on a high after his NZ best placing at the Ellerslie World CC the year before. He was fit, strong and ready to race fast prior to heading to the USA to compete on the lucrative masters road circuit.

Campbell set the early pace and led at 5km. Reaching the 8km, Paul Herlihy and Tauranga teammate Murray Fleming had gathered Campbell in. Herlihy hoping to make the Commonwealth marathon team for Auckland went on to outsprint Campbell and win narrowly. Campbell who set out at sub three minute per kilometre pace and put in surges after 18km to try to drop Herlihy said on reflection he probably went a bit hard and ended up paying for it.

1200 starters with 45 from Huntly. Winners were Paul Herlihy 65.26 and Helen Moros 75.33. Both went on to win the Commonwealth Games trial later in the year. Moros despite being in a car accident which flattened her car two days before, ran and won while Gail Rear was second and for her too, it was remarkable effort after a near fatal brush with a car the previous year.


  1.  Paul Herlihy Tauranga 65.26
  2. John Campbell NSB 65.31
  3. Murray Fleming Tauranga 65.52
  4. Mark Furlan Tauranga 69.03
  5. Paul Forster Dunedin 69.05
  6. Trevor Wright Tauranga 69.28
  7. Don Jacobs CYM 69.51
  8. Alistair Miller Hamilton 70.19


  1. Helen Moros Owairaka 75.33
  2. Gail Rear Whangarei 76.55
  3. Catherine Roberts Owairaka 77.15
  4. Maryanne Henzell Hamilton 77.39
  5. Jenny Smith NSB 80.39
  6. Glenys Kroon Owairaka 81.54
  7. Rose Henry Takapuna 82.39
  8. Sue Clark Takapuna 83.58


For the ten year anniversary, Huntly Press produces a souvenir issue and Electricorp is the major sponsor.

Almost 2000 lined up for the start in warm windless autumn weather chasing the finisher’s commemorative gold medal.

Mark Furlan won while Helen Moros last year’s winner repeated her success. Pre-race favourite John Campbell withdrew with flu on race morning.

Ross Wilson Dunedin set a cracking early pace and only Mark Furlan a distant fourth the year before could stay in touch. They zipped through 10km in 30.29 with Tim Crawford Wellington some 40 seconds back.

At 18km, Furlan got the better of Wilson’s tearaway tactics and went to the lead. Wilson was being rapidly overhauled by Crawford who ran into second with a km to run. Crawford finished fast but failed by 7 seconds to overhaul Furlan 64.59.

Helen Moros won her second Huntly in a breeze clocking a swift 74.57 and headed off to the USA to race the roads. Marianne Henzell Hamilton Harriers and Brenda Ballinger New Plymouth were next.


  1. Mark Furlan Tauranga 64.59
  2. Tim Crawford Wellington 65.06
  3. Ross Wilson Hill City 65.21
  4. Martin MacDonald Wellington 66.14
  5. Wayne Atkins Scottish 67.02
  6. Grant Cann Takapuna 67.08
  7. Jo Stephan YMCA 67.34
  8. Murray Fleming CYM 67.54
  9. Sept Odermatt Owairaka 68.09
  10. Scot Whitney Takapuna 68.17


  1. Helen Moros Owairaka 74.57
  2. Marianne Henzell Hamilton 76.23
  3. Brenda Ballinger New Plymouth 78.54
  4. Raewyn O’Donnell Takapuna 79.12
  5. Jenny Smith NSB 79.24
  6. Gail Rear Whangarei 80.30
  7. Christine Munro Owairaka 80.41
  8. Pam Riley Takapuna 81.16


Sponsored by Electricorp, the 11th Huntly Power Station Half Marathon saw the event once again capitalise on its favourable geographical location and proximity to the population pool of Auckland and Hamilton and attract 2112 entrants.

Coalcorp was also a major sponsor. A bonus time of $10,000 for record breakers attracts a quality field.

Sean Wade Wellington national steeplechase champion debuts over the half marathon distance beats Paul Smith Christchurch 65.45 to 65.49. Together at 10km in 31.45, Smith set out to establish a lead but the return journey past the power station into a strong head wind took its toll.

Wade came with a withering sprint in the last 200 metres to outkick Smith for a narrow win. Brett Wilson NSB was third in 66.33 while 17 year old Dale Warrender Owairaka 66.34 shows his obvious potential by finishing fourth ahead of Dale Kirk Hamilton Harriers 66.45.

Maree Turner Owai 75.42 finishing in 51st place won from Lesley Graham New Plymouth 76.42 with Gail Rear YMCA 77.12 next.

Euan Robertson Takapuna was the first Masters man finishing in 70.25.

A survey conducted with this event revealed the following stastistics:

  • 91% wanted the present course retained despite the constriction of the two bridges
  • 20% were running their first marathon
  • 43% were running their first Huntly Half
  • A quite staggering 47% ran a PB at Huntly
  • 30% had run the Fletcher marathon two weeks before
  • 67% were not registered with clubs

There is no doubt that John Preston and Peter Thornton had saved the Huntly Half and then built it into a premier well organised event.


  1. Sean Wade Kapiti 65.45
  2. Paul Smith Olympic 65.49
  3. Brett Wilson NSB 66.33
  4. Dale Warrender Owairaka 66.34
  5. Dale Kirk Hamilton Harr 66.45
  6. Tim Crawford Wellington 67.33
  7. Graham Alexander Manurewa 67.34
  8. Ted McLachan Wellington 67.38
  9. Paul Fey Manurewa 68.29
  10. Denis Haggitt NSB 68.52


  1. Maree Turner Owairaka 75.42
  2. Lesley Graham New Plymouth 76.17
  3. Gail Rear YMCA 77.05
  4. Bernadette Hugli Takapuna 80.10
  5. Raewyn O’Donnell Takapuna 80.24
  6. Lee-ann McPhillips Kapiti 82.32
  7. Erin Christie YMCA 83.06
  8. Jenny Drummond Takapuna 83.39


The Huntly Power Station Half attracted over 1600 walkers and runners with Electricorp Production again being the major sponsor supported by Coal Corp.

The cold windy conditions did not deter participants and the prestigious race for top honours saw a trio of Peter Renner, Paul Herlihy, and Kerry Rodger battling for podium finishes and only 9 seconds separated them at the tape.

Renner who two weeks later was to break Rex Wilson’s national half marathon best time in Christchurch hadn’t come to Huntly to place second.

Early in the race, the trio of Renner, Herlihy, and Rodger talked about sharing the pace in the windy conditions.

Renner related his tactics after the race with these comments. “Paul was talking all the time trying to psych us out. We talked as we ran. Paul said he would take the first five kms then we would change. He was trying to encourage Kerry and I to take turns leading but we didn’t want to as it was windy. I took the lead at 15 km. Paul said I was trying to do a sneaky on him and went back to the lead. He made a bid for victory but couldn’t finish it off. I attacked again later and this time there was no talk and I edged out to a narrow lead. There were some harassing moments in the last few kms as Harris Road was choked with cars. The lead car had nowhere to go and I squeezed through a very narrow gap taking out the wing mirrors of both the lead car and a parked car. It was an exciting race and I enjoyed it”.

The winning time of 64.46 was fast for the windy conditions. Herlihy hung on well for second spot with 64.54 while Kerry Rodger was three seconds back in third with 64.57.

Eighteen year old Dale Warrender confirmed his potential with a PB 66.19 while Rhet Nicol was the first masters to finish in 70.19. Maree Turner repeated her win of the previous year clocking 76.48.


  1. Peter Renner New Brighton 64.46
  2. Paul Herlihy Tauranga 64.54
  3. Kerry Rodger Manurewa 64.57
  4. Rob Mulcahy New Brighton 65.51
  5. Brian Gillatt Tuakau 66.14
  6. Dale Warrender Owairaka 66.19
  7. Grant Cann Takapuna 67.20
  8. John Fraser Owairaka 67.50
  9. Murray Fleming Tauranga 69.07
  10. Dean Ogilvie North Shore B 69.15


  1. Maree Turner Owairaka 66.48
  2. Glenys Kroon Owairaka 88.38
  3. Gail Rear YMCA 79.27
  4. Pamela Riley Takapuna 81.12
  5. Sharon Higgins Owairaka 82.38
  6. Catherine Roberts Pakuranga 84.26
  7. Jo-Anne Masters Takapuna 85.07
  8. Gail Poad New Plymouth 86.13
  9. Jenny Drummond Pakuranga 87.00
  10. Juliet Burbage Hamilton 87.06


The thirteenth Huntly Power Station Half Marathon was a lucky thirteen with perfect running conditions for over 1700 entries.

Gary Campbell Manager of ECNZ Huntly Thermal Group and major long term sponsor commented “many people on the day said it was the happiest half marathon so far. I am sure the consistently good organisation and the weather contributed to that feeling. The finish at the College again proved popular and the entertainment provided by a band was a welcome addition to the programme. Many positive comments were received about the pleasant picnic atmosphere, the band, food stalls and the sunshine.”

Doug Morris of Doug Morris Appliance Court was the starter as he had sponsored the event since its inception.

Phil Clode overcame a bad patch mid race and won holding off the dual Takapuna challenge of triathlete Paul Amey and Alan Hugli.

For Nyla Lambert women’s winner it was “definitely the best half marathon in the country. The fine conditions and the tremendous support from cheering spectators made it a special race for me.” Lambert a convincing winner was a new face and race organiser John Preston commented as follows. “The whole day had me buzzing. I saw Nyla at 10 km and knew she would win. She was sheer poetry to watch. It was so good to see a well built good looking woman – a lady with a bit of meat on her bones running such a sensational time when so many of our women athletes are starving to get results that will ultimately mean killing themselves.”

It was a magical run by Lambert who scored an upset win over favourite Marguerite Buist. Ted McLachlan was the first masters man in 8th at 68.15 while Marion MacDonald at 82.29 took out the masters women’s top spot.


  1. Phil Clode NSB 64.36
  2. Paul Amey Takapuna 64.56
  3. Allen Hugli Takapuna 65.10
  4. Brett Wilson NSB 65.13
  5. Ross Wilson Hill City 67.33
  6. John Fraser Owairaka 67.58
  7. Rob Mulcahy New Brighton 68.05
  8. Ted McLachlan Trentham 68.15
  9. Chris Pilone Takapuna 69.33
  10. Steve Blair Wellington 69.42


  1.  Nyla Lambert Owairaka 74.25
  2. Marguerite Buist Hamilton 75.35
  3. Bridget Baxter Takapuna 76.41
  4. Sharon Clode Saucony 77.23
  5. Sharon McKenzie Takapuna 77.29
  6. Debbie Shallcross Tauranga 78.00
  7. Christine Hutchinson Hamilton 80.40
  8. Gail Rear YMCA 80.58
  9. Marion MacDonald Takapuna 82.29
  10. Sharon Higgins Owairaka 83.42


The 14th Huntly Power Station Half Marathon was once again sponsored by ECNZ for the sixth successive year.

Conditions were sunny but windy and 1700 were attracted to the Huntly College race centre.

With a $1000 bonus up for grabs if either race record was broken, the pace was on despite the winds.

Robbie Johnson and Richard Potts both Commonwealth Games selections went head to head going through 10km together in 30.15. Once they turned for home the head wind sapped speed and Johnson won with a time of 63.43 while Anne Hare took the women’s race in 73.30 both times the quickest for some years.

Race organiser John Preston said “Robbie Johnston paid tribute to the race in Huntly being the race in New Zealand to win. He valued the support from the crowd which was fantastic especially over the last 10kms.”


  1. Robbie Johnson N Shore Bays 63.43
  2. Richard Potts Hastings 65.04
  3. Dale Warrender N Shore Bays 65.56
  4. John Henwood Frankton 67.23
  5. Paul Amey 67.55
  6. Hamish Christensen Hastings 69.14
  7. Ken Maloney Takapuna 69.25
  8. Ted McLachlan 69.45
  9. Paul Deuritz 69.52
  10. Michael Aish Hamilton 70.00


  1. Anne Hare Wellington 73.30
  2. Gabrielle O’Rourke Scottish 75.45
  3. Helen Moros Oawiraka 76.55
  4. Terri-Lee Farr 82.32
  5. Catherine Roberts Oawiraka 84.08
  6. Sharon McKenzie Lake City 84.44
  7. Megan Burton 85.54
  8. Natalie Beveridge 86.51
  9. Alison Hamilton 89.29
  10. Carolyn Smith Calliope 89.41


15th ECNZ Huntly Power Station Half Marathon.

Cold wet conditions greeted runners for the 15th event and tactics not speed were the main requirements for the leading runners.

Despite the weather, more than 1500 runners completed the event.

North Shore Bays club mates Alan Bunce and Kerry Rodger made the distance seem like a 1500 duel as they battled for line honours after working clear of Paul Amey and Paul Herlihy at the 15km mark.

Bunce and Rodger matched strides in cold conditions over the last 7 km and frequent Bunce surges paid off with a one second win over the tenacious Rodger.

Marguerite Ritchie had a nightmare run for the women’s honours having caught a bug midweek and ran dozed with antibiotics. She held on to win from Gabrielle O’Rourke and Linda Black.

Hamilton’s Dennis Litt was the first masters in 72.12.


  1.  Alan Bunce NSB 66.09
  2. Kerry Rodger NSB 66.10
  3. Paul Herlihy Tauranga 66.51
  4. Paul Amey Lynndale 67.44
  5. Glen Le Gros Lynndale 68.42
  6. Chris Pilone NSB 68.47
  7. Matt Dravitski NSB 68.49
  8. John Crane Hamilton 69.42
  9. Ross Wilson Pakuranga 70.14
  10. Paul Ritchie Hamilton 70.18


  1. Marguerite Ritchie Hamilton 78.18
  2. Gabrielle O’Rourke Wellington 78.47
  3. Linda Black Owairaka 79.14
  4. Terri-Lee Farr New Plymouth 80.07
  5. Sharon McKenzie NSB 80.32
  6. Anne Hannam NSB 80.42
  7. S Rushton OER 81.22
  8. Marion Millward Frankton 82.28


16th Huntly Half Marathon.

After eight years of excellent race organisation, John Preston and Peter Thornton offered the event to the Hamilton Harrier Club who had become increasingly involved in the Huntly Half with Graham Dudfield providing the results and timing system for the previous three years.

The previous sponsors withdrew and the event was run on a shoestring but still attracted 1069 athletes.

Phil Starr shrugged off the injury blues that plagued him during the previous track season to win the Huntly Half at his first serious attempt over the distance. The 21 year old outran a strong field to win over Michael Aish and Paul Herlihy.

Sonia Barry New Plymouth showed a welcome return to form to win the women’s section from Janine Anderson and Anne Hannam.


  1. Phillip Starr Wellington 66.55
  2. Michael Aish Hamilton 67.28
  3. Paul Herlihy Tauranga 67.48
  4. Robert Howell Hamilton 68.29
  5. Chris Pilone NSB 70.51
  6. A Heather NSB 71.14


  1. Sonia Barry New Plymouth 75.54


18th Mizuno Huntly Half Marathon.

Entries were up for the 18th event with a total of 1235 taking part including 200 in the walk section.

The event included the national half marathon title. The early quartet of Richard Potts, John Henwood Dale Warrander and Kerry Rodger kept the pace honest in wet windy conditions.

The 10km ticked over in 30.30 with Potts and Henwood together 16 second clear of Dale Warrander. Potts kicked on after 16km to rediscover top form and break a two year drought of results for a classy win in a quick 65.25 from Henwood 66.02 narrowly from Warrender 66.08, Rodger 66.35.

Gavin Stephens was the quickest master in 73.11.

Melbourne visitor Susan Michlesson was the first woman home in 74.37 from Gabrielle O’Rourke who was elated with a PB 74.47 and retention of her national title while Anne Hannam 76.43 was third.

A low key 10km was added to the programme in 1998 and that has grown in popularity each year to be a useful addition to the event.


  1. Richard Potts Hastings 65.25
  2. John Henwood Scottish 66.02
  3. Dale Warrender North Shore Bays 66.08
  4. Kerry Rodger North Shore Bays 66.35
  5. Michael Aish North Shore Bays 66.44
  6. Magnus Michelsson Melbourne 67.23
  7. Paul McRae Lynndale 69.39
  8. Bruce Nicholson Counties 69.46
  9. David Dickinson North Shore Bays 71.18
  10. Glen Patterson Canberra 71.26


  1. Susan Michelsson Melbourne 74.37
  2. Gabrielle O’Rourke Wellington 74.47
  3. Anne Hannam North Shore Bays 76.43
  4. Karen Murphy St Martins 79.40
  5. Bridget Baxter Takapuna 80.18
  6. Juliet Burbage Hamilton Hawks 83.58
  7. Sally Eastall OER 85.59
  8. Sione Jongstra OER 87.08


They came in their thousands – runners joggers, walkers and wheelchair athletes.

The popular community run had a hastily added marathon included after flood waters had washed out the Rotorua marathon some three weeks previously.

More than 1800 took to the streets of Huntly in perfect conditions.

First home in the half was Dale Warrander in the quick time of 64.00 more than three minutes clear of Seaton Meredith.

Kawerau’s Megan Edhouse was first woman home.

In the full marathon which started early and wound its way through early morning fog along the western banks of the Waikato north towards Rangariri was won by host club’s Richard Hall in just over 2.38, while fellow club member Juliet Burbage took the women’s title in 2.54.

English runner Tim Rogers completed the marathon in just under 4.30 to set a record for running seven marathons on seven continents in 99 days. He had come to New Zealand early in the month to achieve this feat in the Rotorua marathon but a deluge swamped the course and caused the event to be cancelled.

Huntly organisers the Hamilton City Hawks hastily added a marathon to their event schedule which enabled Rogers to claim the record. Not many clubs would have the ability to promote and host a marathon in three weeks and it was a remarkable effort by the Hamilton Club and its organising team led by Graham Dudfield and David Larsen.

Tim Rogers was in no hurry to finish the marathon as he ran the event and filmed it for a BBC documentary called Record Breakers. The 1999 Huntly marathon was in fact the largest in the country for this year.


  1. Dale Warrander NSB 64.10
  2. Seaton Meredith Pakuranga 68.00
  3. Ross Wilson Lynndale 68.20
  4. Paul Herlihy Tauranga 68.33
  5. John Crane Hamilton 69.07
  6. Graeme Pearson Lake City 69.54
  7. Damian Shirley Counties Man 70.14
  8. David Sharp Hamilton 70.54


  1. Megan Edhouse Kawerau 77.52
  2. Chrissie Fitzinger NSB 78.29
  3. Donna Churton NSB 78.48
  4. Heidi Alexander Counties Man 81.09
  5. Gail Rear NSB 81.48
  6. Dorothea Larsen Hamilton 82.35


20th Huntly Retravision Half Marathon.

1041 finished the event with 230 walking the half marathon and the host club’s Olympian Craig Barrett once again led the walkers across the finish line.

Paul Herlihy won the run section from John Crane premasters, Kent Hodgson and Damien Shirley.

Wendy Paramore Hastings won the women’s event from Jane Robinson and Gaela Kilgour.


  1. Paul Herlihy Tauranga 71.53
  2. John Crane Hamilton Hawks 72.18
  3. Kent Hodgson Hamilton Hawks 74.07
  4. Damian Shirley Counties 75.26
  5. Dennis Litt Master M45 Hamilton Hawks 75.28
  6. Chris Watson Takapuna 75.35
  7. Gerard McKone Takapuna 75.39
  8. Gavin Stephens Master University 76.41
  9. Ian Murray Hamilton Hawks 76.44
  10. David McGuiness Pakuranga 76.46


  1. Wendy Paramore Hastings 80.24
  2. Jane Anderson Auckland 85.04
  3. Gaela Kilgour Takapuna 85.17
  4. Lexia Hansen Auckland 86.25
  5. Jenny Wood Takapuna 87.08
  6. Tanya Lee-Parker Lake City 88.16
  7. Heidi Alexander Counties 89.12
  8. Hilary Grinter Lake City 89.48
  9. Jan Hales Wellington 90.27


21st Huntly Retravision Half Marathon.

1706 entrants took part in the event which was held in wet windy conditions and based on Huntly College.

Dale Warrander won for the second time in three years with a solid 64.23 which enabled him to pick up the $250 for bettering the course bonus time.

Warrander cleared out after 3kms and won in canter by a whopping 2.30 from Mark Hutchinson and Tony Olsen.

Megan Edhouse won the women’s event with 75.50.


  1. Dale Warrander NSB 64.23
  2. Mark Hutchinson NSB 67.58
  3. Tony Olsen CYM 70.20
  4. Alan Meredith Wesley 71.58
  5. Kent Hodgson Hamilton Hawks 71.54
  6. Tony Chudley Tauranga 71.56


  1. Megan Edhouse Kawerau 75.50
  2. Sue Attwood NSB 80.44
  3. Stacey Madgewick Lynndale 83.10
  4. Claire McKone Takapuna 86.15
  5. Dorothea Larsen Hamilton Hawks 88.54


22nd Huntly Retravision Half Marathon.

The staging of the 2002 event caused some headaches for the Hamilton City Hawks organisers when permission to cross State Highway One was withdrawn and an engineering report showed that the pounding of feet in unison as hundreds crossed the Waikato River footbridge was causing undue stress to the structure that had been such a feature of the event for the previous two decades.

A new course confined to the eastern side of the river and the state highway had to be hastily investigated but there was considerable co-operation from the Waikato District Council and the Huntly Community Board as they recognised the benefit of such an event to the town. Essential elements of the Huntly landscape like coal mining, the power station and Lake Hakanoa were incorporated into the new course and Solid Energy a major employer of Huntly workers came on board as a secondary sponsor and allowed the new course to run through their East Mine.

The new course was user and spectator friendly and included a lap of Hakanoa Domain at both the start and finish so that supporters saw plenty of the action. The 10km included a lap of picturesque Lake Hakanoa where a Brian Curle led local group had over the previous decade been planting shrubs and trees and creating a walkway.

Scott Winton an unknown late entrant sprang a big surprise to win the event in a tight finish. For the first 14 km on the new circuit Scott Winton, seasoned campaigner Kerry Rodger, Alan Meredith and Phil Clode were in a bunch chasing leader Ross Wilson. In the end Meredith was left to saviour a PB of 67.38 in third, Lynndale runner Rodger now in the masters grade had to bow to Winton’s speed taking second just two seconds back from the winner Winton.

Nyla Carroll had the women’s section to herself winning in 76.34 just outside the $250 bonus time of 76 minutes. Lynndale club mate Stacey Madgewick was second and Rotorua marathon winner Evelyn Coombe was third.

As with any new course there were many teething troubles but feedback both positive and negative enabled a new course to be set for the following year which was both more safe and included a lap around the picturesque Lake Hakanoa walkway at the end.


  1. Scott Winton Counties Manakau 68.02
  2. Kerry Rodger Lynndale 68.04
  3. Alan Meredith Wesley 68.10
  4. Phil Clode Counties Manakau 69.13
  5. Stephen Smith Frankton 69.54
  6. Garit Read M20 Hamilton Hawks 69.55


  1. Nyla Carroll Lynndale 76.34
  2. Stacey Madgewick Lynndale 83.13
  3. Evelyn Coombe Auckland 83.52
  4. Zeliah Morrell Hatea 83.55
  5. Sue Attwood Hibiscus Coast 84.30
  6. Tania McGovern Auckland 85.36


23rd Huntly Retravision Half Marathon.

Scott Winton successfully defended his Huntly Half Marathon title on a slightly changed course. Approaching the 5km mark, Winton thought he was on track for a New Zealand best time when he he did a time check and then heard the news from the leading police car that they had taken the field down the wrong road.

It was testament to the superb organising ability of Race Director Graham Dudfield that within half an hour he had worked out what needed to be added and where to give the full half marathon distance and extra marshals and cones had been found to correct the error.

Winton clocked 77.39 almost two minutes head of second placed Robbie Johnston to improve on his last year’s time. He led from 3km and commented that it was a good course and improved by bringing in the newly surfaced walkway around Lake Hakanoa. Tony Olsen CYM twice former national duathlon champion was third to finish ahead of 17 year old Ahmed Salad of the host club.

Kate Searancke was a surprise winner of the women’s event having only just joined the Hamilton City Hawks. The 22 year old university student and former netball player was a clear winner from Joanna Ottosen Lake City.


  1. Scott Winton Counties Manakau 67.39
  2. Robbie Johnston NSB 69.27
  3. Tony Olsen CYM 69.45
  4. Ahmed Salad M20 Hamilton Hawks 70.21


  1. Kate Searancke Hamilton Hawks 81.22
  2. Joanna Ottosen Lake City 84.22
  3. Charlotte Porter Auckland 87.55


24th Huntly Retravision Half Marathon.

Further fine tuning of the course took place before the 2004 event as Brian Curle the pioneer organiser of the first five Huntly Half Marathons resurfaced the 3.5km Lake Hakanoa Walkway with quarry fine to provide a firmer running surface. Curle and a group of local volunteers had been working for over fifteen years on developing this walkway and were delighted to see it used annually as part of the half marathon.

This year entries were up 26% to 1750 and former based US Colorado college runner Reuben McRae showed how well his four year stint overseas had been with a new record for the new course of 66.49.

Napier’s Matthew Holder led the field through the first 14kms when McCrae took control and edged away to win narrowly from Craig Kirkwood.

Olympian Nyla Carroll won the women’s race in a record 75.51 from Jess Draskau-Petersson an English runner living in Hamilton and Rachel Penney third.


  1. Rueben McRae Auckland 66.49
  2. Craig Kirkwood Auckland 66.54
  3. Matthew Holder Napier 67.13
  4. Alan Meredith Wesley 71.19
  5. Angus Bell Hamilton Hawks 71.38
  6. Tony Olsen CYM 72.28
  7. Graeme Pearson Lake City 73.19
  8. Gavin Stevens University 73.28
  9. Shafat Salad M20 Hamilton Hawks 74.18
  10. Oliver Piggin Auckland 75.36


  1. Nyla Carroll Lynndale 75.51
  2. Jess Draskau- Petersson Hamilton 77.40
  3. Rachel Penny Counties Manakau 79.41
  4. Kate Searancke Hamilton Hawks 84.21
  5. Sarah Devoy Hamilton Hawks 84.58
  6. Jane Burfett Auckland 85.30
  7. Helen Anderson Auckland 87.08
  8. Melanie Burke Auckland 87.12


25th Huntly Retravision Half Marathon.

The 25th running of the Huntly Half Marathon was a special running occasion with $50,000 in prizes up for grabs, a commemorative medal and special T shirt and the Athletics New Zealand championships included.

Race Director Graham Dudfield now in his 21st year of event organisation was delighted with the record entries of 2457 which caused traffic chaos and congestion on the entrance to the course and resulted in a delayed start.

Steady rain and cold winds put a damper on the event and caused the prize giving to be abandoned.


  1. Tom Mayo Bays Cougars 67.51
  2. Kim Hogarth Palmerston North 68.58
  3. Shafat Salad Hamilton Hawks 70.07
  4. Ahmed Salad Hamilton Hawks 70.19
  5. Johan Vanhoovels Counties Manakau 70.34
  6. Glenn Sexton Hamilton Hawks 71.54
  7. Graeme Taylor Papakura 73.08
  8. Fetalow Zomo Auckland 74.42
  9. Brent Foster Wesley 75.42
  10. Guy Robson Massey 76.15


  1. Nicole Cope Auckland University 75.47
  2. Sarah Christie Wellington 77.42
  3. Bridget Ray Hamilton Hawks 83.01
  4. Ruth Kingston Lynndale 83.49
  5. Janet Anderson Auckland 83.54
  6. Sarah Devoy Hamilton Hawks 84.03
  7. Jo Burkett ACA 84.22
  8. Marion Millward Hamilton Hawks 84.47
  9. Dot Larsen Hamilton Hawks 85.13
  10. Carol Black Auckland 85.30


26th Huntly Half Marathon

2210 entrants which made it third biggest entry. Half marathon run attracted 907 entrants. Half Marathon walk 300 entrants. 10km 1003.

Fine day with cool breeze gave perfect conditions. $9000 in prize money for the top athletes while $32,000 was available for spot prizes with outstanding support from Mizuno and Fisher and Paykel.

Men’s winner Scott Winton Counties Manakau won the event in a canter for the third time (2002 and 2003) by over 2 minutes from Stephen Lett Bays Cougars and Daniel Hapeta Papakura.

Women’s winner Nyla Carroll took her fourth victory and in recording 75.43 slipped under the bonus time of 66 minutes and earned herself $1000. She won by over 6 minutes from Penny Newbigin and Sharon Fitzgerald.

A top result came from junior Hawks Camille Buscomb who ran a useful 85.08 for her first half and that won her the WBOP title as well ahead of club mates Sarah Devoy 86.48 and Tessa Lee 88.55.

Ben Langford Hawks in his first half ran 73.23 and won the centre title.

In the Solid Energy 10km junior Hawks Katy Pottinger ran a PB 39.40.


  1. Scott Winton Counties Manakau 68.28
  2. Stephen Lett Bays 70.39
  3. Daniel Hapeta Papakura 71.38
  4. Johan Vanhoovels Auckland 71.58
  5. Ben Langford Hawks 73.17
  6. Matt Parsonage Matamata 73.23
  7. Graeme Pearson Lake City 73.29 1st MM
  8. Gavin Stevens Auckland University 74.11
  9. Walter Thorburn Auckland 74.32
  10. Ben Gillum Auckland 74.44


  1. Nyla Carroll Auckland 75.43
  2. Penny Newbigin Auckland 71.51
  3. Sharon Fitzgerald Auckland 82.46
  4. Bridget Deverall Cambridge 84.59 W35
  5. Camille Buscombe Hawks 85.08 W20
  6. Sally Ward Auckland 86.48
  7. Sarah Devoy Hawks 86.56
  8. Clare McKone Auckland 86.59
  9. Katie Holmes Auckland 88.33
  10. Tessa Lee Hawks 88.55


Mark McKeown just held on to win the 27th annual Huntly half marathon. The 32 year old Tauranga photo journalist led from the 9km mark and went on to record a time of 1h 10m 19s, 33 seconds ahead of 1994 winner Robbie Johnston.

McKeown said that it had been a tough week, overcoming a bout of flu and then struggling with a tight left calf muscle over the closing stages of the race. “I was surprised to have finished with this calf muscle,” said a relieved McKeown at the finish. “I haven’t run this week, but I had been doing 140km a week in training, which saw me through,” he added.

McKeown wants to represent New Zealand again and is aiming for the world mountain running championships in Switzerland in September. “I’m training for the New Zealand mountain running champs in Nelson in July,” he said.

Kyle Macdonald of Tauranga shared the pace with McKeown over the first half of the race and was still holding second at the start of the lap of Lake Hakanoa. However he could not match the finish of Johnston and had to settle for third in 1h 12m 8s.

Lara Phillips continued her dream run, chalking up her third win in as many weeks, taking the women’s section in 1h 18m 40s. Phillips took seven minutes off her previous best time. She now has her sights on a faster time in the Christchurch half marathon in two weeks time and possibly a qualifying time under 1h 16m 30s for the world university games in Thailand in August.

Rowan Baird tracked Phillips throughout the race, but was unable to bridge the gap. Baird was just 27 seconds back in second. Lesley Turner-Hall was third.

Ben Ruthe warmed up for a fast half marathon in Christchurch with a record breaking performance in the associated 10km road race. Ruthe carved 1m 44s off the record after sprinting in ahead of Scott Winton, over the closing stages, in 30m 27s. Craig Kirkwood finished third.

Jess Ruthe was also in record breaking form clipping four seconds off the women’s record set by Nina Rillstone two years ago. Jess Ruthe finished seventh overall in 33m 23s. Jess Ruthe, after finishing second twice in a row, is keen to finally nail the Christchurch half marathon on 3 June. Camille Buscomb, selected to the world youth championships in the Czech Republic in July, was second in 36m 20s with Sally Ward third.


  1. Mark McKeown Tauranga 70.19
  2. Robbie Johnson Auckland 70.52
  3. Kyle MacDonald Tauranga 72.08
  4. Kent Hodgson Hawks 72.39
  5. Johan Vasnhoovels Pukekawa 72.46
  6. John Caie Tauranga 72.59 M40
  7. Corey Hinde Hawks 72.12
  8. Gavin Stevens University 73.44 M50
  9. Joel Martin Takapuna 72.59
  10. Ross McIntyre Lake City 74.08 M40

Masters – Men

  • 35-39: Johnston 1h 10m 52s
  • 40-44: Caie 1h 12m 59
  • 45-49: G. Pearson (Rotorua) 1h 14m 13s
  • 50-54: G. Stevens (Univ) 1h 13m 44s
  • 55-59: T. Sugiyama (YMCA) 1h 24m 54s
  • 60-64: I. Loveday (YMCA) 1h 29m 23s
  • 65 plus: C. Henderson (Univ) 1h 26m 26s
  • M19: V. Brightwell (Te Awamutu) 1h 33m 30s

10km – Men

  1. B. Ruthe (Tga) 30m 27s (race record)
  2. S. Winton (Pak) 30m 40s
  3. C. Kirkwood (Tga) 31m 21s
  4. M. Dravitzki (Wgtn) 32m 5s
  5. S. Meredith (Pak) 32m 27s
  6. D. Cooper (Akld) 33m 22s


  1. Lara Phillips ACA 78.40
  2. Rowan Baird Bay Cougars 79.07
  3. Lesley Turner Hall Auckland 81.13 W35
  4. Stacey Pearson Auckland 82.14 W40
  5. Bridget Deverell Cambridge 83.47 W40
  6. Melissa Norris YMCA 86.06 W35
  7. Jo Cummings Pakuranga 88.13
  8. Tracey Greenwood Hawks 88.47 W45
  9. Emily Gear Hawks 89.20
  10. Carrine Weston Auckland 89.38

Masters – Women

  • 35-39: Turner-Hall 1h 21m 18s
  • 40-44: Pearson 1h 23m 14s
  • 45-49: T. Greenwood (Ham) 1h 28m 47s
  • 50-54: D. Clark (Mt Maunganui) 1h 38m 27s
  • 55-59: J. Bradshaw (Hatea) 1h 40m 6s
  • W19: S. Stewart (Akld) 1h 40m 51s

10km – Women

  1. J. Ruthe (Tga) 33m 23s (race record)
  2. C. Buscomb (Ham) 36m 20s
  3. S. Ward (Akld) 37m 50s
  4. A. Hamilton (NHB) 38m 32s
  5. C. Allan (Akld) 40m 52s
  6. H. Hall (Ham) 41m 5s


Iain MacDonald of Tauranga won his first major road race, with a convincing victory in the annual Huntly half marathon. The 24 year old shook off his twin brother Kyle at 10km passed in 32m 24s and broke clear of Pakuranga’s Jonny McKee at 13km to carry on to win in 1h 8m 17s.

MacDonald, who was fourth in the Auckland half marathon last year, took a minute off his personal best. “At half way I put the hammer down and dropped my brother and I didn’t want it to come down to the wire as I haven’t got the flashest of finishes so I got rid of Jonny McKee between 13km and 14km”, said MacDonald. “I was starting to feel it though at 19km,” he added.

McKee held out Kyle MacDonald by 11 seconds for second in 1h 9m 2s. Triathlete Greg Thompson of Auckland was fourth in 1h 10m 42s.

Nyla Carroll ran in for her fifth win at Huntly in the women’s section, running the fastest time for the course based on Lake Hakanoa, of 1h 15m 19s, knocking 24 seconds off her 2006 time. Carroll first won in 1993.

Tania McGovern of Auckland was a distant second in 1h 20m 50s, just sevens seconds ahead of Philippa Durkin of Tauranga.

Carroll said that she was still feeling a bit tight from her win in the Rotorua marathon. “I’ll now go into a build up for the Auckland half marathon in October, which will make me a Roadster,” said the 42 year old.

Roadster status is granted to those runners who compete and finish five Auckland half marathons or five full marathons.


  1. Ian MacDonald Tauranga 68.17
  2. Jonny McKee Pakuranga 69.02
  3. Kyle MacDonald Tauranga 69.13
  4. Greg Thompson ACA 70.42
  5. Paul Crowhurst Pakuranga 70.45
  6. Jono Jackson ACA 71.13 M20
  7. Corey Hinde Hawks 72.11
  8. Micahael Petrina Auckkand 72.21
  9. Tony Olsen Te Awamutu 73.31 M40
  10. Paul Angland Takaouna 73.42

10km – Men

  1. A. Kilding (Tak) 32m 25s
  2. N. Pannett (Pak) 32m 30s
  3. A. Meredith (Akld) 33m 9s


  1. Nyla Carroll Papakura 75.19
  2. Tania McGovern Auckland 80.50 W40
  3. Philippa Durkin ACA 80.57
  4. Bridget Deverell Cambridge 85.00 W40
  5. Jo Carrel ACA 87.13
  6. Janine Sax Mt Maunganui 87.31
  7. Helen Rountree Hawks 87.40
  8. Michelle Hyland Hawks 88.11
  9. Tanuia Smelling New Plymouth 88.32
  10. Claire McKone Auckland 89.18

10km – Women

  1. L. Joy (Akld) 35m 22s
  2. S. Jackson (NHB) 37m 28s
  3. M. Dravitzki (Akld) 39m 23s


Sam Dobson had to overcome a bad patch to hold out Michael Adams to win the Huntly half marathon. Dobson led out early with Jono Jackson for company.

On the loop through the coal mine on the eastern side of Huntly, Dobson started to tire allowing Adams to make contact. They remained together with Dobson having enough in reserve to take victory in 1h 11m 54s, six seconds ahead of Adams.

Stephen Smith of Palmerston North put in a strong finish to take third in 1h 12m 22s.

Dobson was pleased to have held on for the win. “My calf muscle seized so it was a matter of staying in contact and trying to outsprint him at the end,” said Dobson. “The first 10km was really good and then I faded off a bit, I probably made my move a bit early”, he added.

Lesley Turner Hall, who finished third two years ago returned to win the women’s half marathon in 1h 22m 53s, 1m 40s slower than her time in 2007. Roma Forbes of Opotiki was second in 1h 23m 38s.

Steven O’Callaghan of Rotorua, who had the dramatic fall metres from the finish line in the Rotorua marathon earlier this month, won the associated 10km in 31m 58s.


  1. Sam Dobson Pakuranga 71.54
  2. Michael Adams ACA 72.00
  3. Stephen Smith Palmerston N 72.22
  4. Jonothan Jackson ACA 72.30 M20
  5. Paul Hamblyn NHB 72.31
  6. Matthew Parsonage Matamata 72.54
  7. Tristan Calwell Auckland 73.31
  8. Paul Crowhurst Pakuranga 74.22
  9. Stephen Smith Hawks 74.47
  10. Chris Corney Lake City 75.55 M40

Masters – Men

  • Chris Corney (Rotorua) 1h 15m 55s
  • Hugh Allison (Cambridge) 1h 16m 2s
  • John Crane (Ham) 1h 16m 47s


  • Jackson 1h 12m 30s
  • Michael Whitehead (Puk) 1h 17m 14s
  • Tom Stewart (ACA) 1h 19m 26s

10km – Men

  1. Steve O’Callaghan (Rotorua) 31m 58s
  2. Michael Pugh (Tauranga) 32m 23s
  3. Justin Carnaby (Pak) 33m 46s


  1. Lesley Turner Hall Auckland 82.53 W35
  2. Roma Forbes Opotiki 83.38
  3. Helen Rountree Hawks 85.04
  4. Sarah Devoy Pakuranga 85.50
  5. Bridget Deverell Hawks 87.16 W40
  6. Kirsten Milne Hawks 88.34
  7. Jo Carrel ACA 88.59
  8. Kate Taylor Hawks 89.41 W40
  9. Libby Garnett Auckland 90.02
  10. Helen Hall Hawks 91.24 W45

Masters – Women

  1. Turner Hall 1h 22m 53s
  2. Milne 1h 28m 34s
  3. Kate Taylor (Ham) 1h 29m 41s

10km – Women

  1. Bridget Ray (Ham) 39m 10s
  2. Olivia Ritchie (Ham) 39m 13s
  3. Mikayla Nielsen (Ham) 40m 4s


Aaron Pulford became the youngest winner of the Huntly half marathon and in the process won his first New Zealand senior title.

The 30th anniversary of the event doubled as the national championship and the 18 year staved off a strong challenge from Jonny McKee to claim the gold medal in 1h 9m 21s for the 21.1km. McKee crossed the finish 17 seconds later with 19 year old Jonathan Jackson taking third in 1h 10m 31s.

Pulford said that from a slow start he worked his way into the race. “It was pretty slow to start off with and I just ran relaxed. Jonny McKee put in a break about 12km and put about 80 metres on me. I just slowly did a lot of surging to catch him up,” said Pulford. “I caught him at 16km and he then put in another surge. My instructions were to sit for once and not go for a time. “The last 2km I cranked it up and held on to win, in my first half marathon,” he added.

Pulford said that the run was a fitness test for the world junior championships in Canada in July where he will contest the 10,000m. “I had a bit of a break after the world cross country championships in March and been back in serious training for the past month.”

McKee who was also second in 2008, running a slightly faster 1h 9m 2s, said that he went from feeling good to feeling sick as the race progressed. “I went for it at 10km and felt really good, but by the time we got to the coal mine area I started to feel quite sick. When Aaron caught me I tried to push on again and I thought I was going to get him,” said McKee. “At 19km he went past me, and I started to feel sick again and I couldn’t get back on him again.” McKee said that his preparation was lacking going into the race. “So with better preparation maybe next year I’ll be back to win it,” he said.

Grant McLean travelled up from Wellington for his first Huntly race and was rewarded with being the first master to finish and a clear winner by nearly two minutes over his brother Craig of Hamilton in the 40-44 age group. Grant was pleased with his time of 1h 12m 23s for the challenging course. “I checked out the course and realised it was a bit challenging and decided to hold back a bit and then put in a strong finish over the second half,” he said. “It is my first masters distance title so I’m pretty happy to finally get one,” he added.

Maria Bentley from Palmerston North, who turned 30 last week, won the New Zealand women’s title in a close finish with Hamilton’s Helen Rountree in a personal best of 1h 17m 56s. Bentley said it was tough course. “From the start Helen and Sarah Biss were off, so I decided just to keep to my own race, keep conservative and don’t go out too fast, but the first 5km was still pretty fast and still pretty fast up to 10km,” said Bentley. “I got in front of Sarah at the top of the hill at 10km and I could see Nyla Carroll, so I thought just slowly tap away, tap away and I got her at 15km. Then it was a matter of just holding it strong. “I thought it was Nyla who was staying with me and I didn’t realise it was Helen chasing me at the finish.”

Bentley was third in the championship in Auckland last November and now looks forward to the Wellington half marathon in five weeks. Rountree was just seven seconds slower than Bentley for the silver medal with five times Huntly winner Carroll taking third in 1h 19m 9s. “I left my run a bit late,” said Rountree. “But I had nothing left and I wasn’t going to fall over at the finish. I’m totally happy with second, just happy to have beaten Nyla Carroll, that’s excellent and I did a personal best by two minutes,” she added.


  1. Aaron Pulford (Ham) 1h 9m 21s
  2. Jonny McKee (Pak) 1h 9m 38s
  3. Jonathan Jackson (ACA) 1h 10m 31s
  4. Iain Macdonald (Taur) 1h 11m 17s
  5. Aaron Jackson (ACA) 1h 11m 40s
  6. Paul Hamblyn (NHB) 1h 12m 9s

Masters – Men

  1. Grant McLean (Wgtn) 1h 12m 23s
  2. Simon Yarrow (ACA) 1h 12m 57s
  3. Gavin Stevens (Univ) 1h 14m 24s


  1.  Jackson 1h 10m 31s
  2. Kieran McPherson (Ham) 1h 13m 59s
  3. Josh Maisey (ACA) 1h 14m 11s


  1. Maria Bentley (Feilding) 1h 17m 56s
  2. Helen Rountree (Ham) 1h 18m 3s
  3. Nyla Carroll (Wgtn) 1h 19m 9s
  4. Lisa Robertson (Pak) 1h 20m 19s
  5. Breeanna Potter (ACA) 1h 20m 44s
  6. Michelle Basson (Taur) 1h 22m 15s

Masters – Women

  1. Basson 1h 22m 15s
  2. Marion Millward (Ham) 1h 26m 5s
  3. Bridget Deverall (Ham) 1h 26m 54s


  1. Ruby Muir (Taur) 1h 23m 19s
  2. Samantha Blanch (Puk) 1h 25m 10s
  3. Ella Mangan-Walker (ACA) 1h 26m 54s


Aaron Pulford took out the Huntly half marathon for the second year in a career best time of 1h 6m 6s.

Pulford joins John Walker in 1982 and 1983 and Scott Winton 2002 and 2003 as consecutive winners of the popular 21.1km event. “I wasn’t really going for a personal best, just going for the win,” said Pulford at the finish. Mid way into the race only two were in contention, Pulford and Stephen Lett. On the hill section Pulford put in a surge broke clear of Lett and despite suffering from some stitch held on for victory.

Lett recorded 1h 6m 40s with Kyle MacDonald third in 1h 8m 19s. Pulford said that he felt fresh from the start. “We had a pacemaker through the first 5km, and I was feeling so good that I went to the front. “On the hills Stephen was behind me and I could hear him breathing pretty heavy so I put in a few surges and managed to get a gap,” said Pulford. “When I got to about 19km I was feeling really good and then all of a sudden I got this stitch real bad which reduced me to a bit of a walk. But I managed to run through it,” he added.

Pulford will now concentrate on some track training sessions in preparation for a five week racing circuit in Europe. “I’ll be aiming for the 5000m and one of the races will be the British under 23 championship,” he said. Lett was under his previous best time by two and a half minutes. “I had Aaron to kind of watch, he was about 20 seconds ahead of me, so I was trying to keep in tabs, trying to close the gap but he was too strong. He is a classy runner,” said Lett.

Lisa Robertson relished the perfect conditions, racing in for the women’s title in an outstanding time of 1h 13m 28s. Only Wendy Breed with 1h 12m and Gail Rear with 1h 13m 25s have recorded faster times in the 31 years of the event.

Helen Rountree was second in 1h 16m 52s and Rachael Kingstone third in 1h 18m 24s. Robertson, who was fourth last year, was surprised at the speed that she had covered the course. “I was wanting 1h 15m. Helen kept me going, I could see her through the bends so I knew I had to keep pushing or I’m going to get beat,” said Robertson. “My focus is now the marathon and I will be racing my first one in the Auckland marathon,” she added. Rountree, aiming for the Gold Coast half marathon, said that her focus was to maintain second place. “I was worried that someone was going to catch me from behind so I forgot about Lisa and just carried on with it,” she said.

Gavin Stevens was the fastest master in 1h 13m 26s and Melissa Norris the best of the master women in 1h 20m 45s.

Orienteer Angela Simpson was the first junior woman in 1h 19m 8s and Asher Meltzer the first junior man in 1h 24m 13s.


  1. Aaron Pulford (Ham) 1h 6m 6s
  2. Stephen Lett (Tak) 1h 6m 40s
  3. Kyle MacDonald (Tauranga) 1h 8m 19s
  4. Jonathan Jackson (ACA) 1h 8m 29s
  5. Angus Bell (ACA) 1h 8m 51s
  6. Phil Murray (Ham) 1h 11m 41s

Masters 40-49 – Men

  1. John Crane (Ham) 1h 13m 49s
  2. Bruce Duncan (Univ) 1h 15m 6s
  3. Andrew Wark (Ham) 1h 15m 11s

Masters 50-59 Men

  1. Gavin Stevens (Univ) 1h 13m 26s
  2. Graeme Pearson (Rot) 1h 16m 7s
  3. Rodney Poulgrain (Thames) 1h 21m 19s

Masters 60+ Men

  1. Andy Harper (YMCA) 1h 30m 10s
  2. Robert Pullyn (Paeroa) 1h 34m 7s
  3. Graeme Raill (Ham) 1h 34m 33s


  1. Asher Meltzer (ACA) 1h 24m 13s
  2. Sam Stone (Akld) 1h 26m 51s
  3. Marc Hermann (Ham) 1h 29m 33s


  1. Lisa Robertson (Pak) 1h 13m 28s
  2. Helen Rountree (Ham) 1h 16m 52s
  3. Rachael Kingstone (ACA) 1h 18m 24s
  4. Angela Simpson (Ham) 1h 19m 8s
  5. Melissa Norris (Tak) 1h 20m 45s

Masters 40-49 – Women

  1. Norris 1h 20m 45s
  2. Bridget Deverall (Camb) 1h 24m 2s
  3. Kirsty Johnson Cox (Akld) 1h 28m 40s

Masters 50-59 Women

  1. Vanessa Sun (Franklin) 1h 29m 17s
  2. Karen Espin (YMCA) 1h 40m 0s
  3. Sinthy Kounlasa 1h 40m 16s

Masters 60+ Women

  1. Christine Munro (YMCA) 1h 39m 29s
  2. Mavis Maxwell (N/Ply) 1h 47m 15s 3.


  1. Simpson 1h 19m 8s
  2. Cassia Gasston (Ham) 1h 43m 32s
  3. Greer Hutton (Ham) 1h 45m 36s


The Huntly Half Marathon concluded its 32nd year on Sunday, with an exciting race taken out by Kenyan runner Kip Kemei who edged out Timaru’s Samuel Wreford (2nd) and Hamilton defending champion Aaron Pulford (3rd).

Leading from the start, Kip Kemei won the 21.1km race in 1.05.28 – the fastest time in 10 years on the Huntly course. He has become a familiar face on the New Zealand racing circuit this year winning both the Rotorua Half Marathon and Wellington Round the Bays. But there is no bad blood between with runners, with Kip now lodging and training with Aaron at his home in the Waikato.

The fastest woman home was Sally Gibbs from Katikati in 1.17.46, followed by Hamilton Hawks runner Maria Bentley 1.20.24.

Hamilton City Hawks runner Caleb Koia-Hamling was successful in his Guinness World Record attempt to become the fastest Half Marathon Runner in an Animal Costume when he completed the half marathon in a kiwi suit in 1.51.07.

This year’s event had nearly 3000 entries, and remains one of the Waikato’s biggest sporting events. Race Organiser Graham Dudfield is pleased with how the event came together “the plan for the event formulated by the Hawks Huntly Half committee was well executed and ran very smoothly.” And like many on the day pinpoints the highlight as being the amazing running by Kip Kemei and Sally Gibbs.

The Solid Energy Huntly Half Marathon is run by the Hamilton City Hawks, and is one of the only sporting events in New Zealand to not be run by an events company, and is powered by the many Huntly and Waikato volunteers “great effort from the Hawks Club – ran like clockwork and we appreciate the work by local volunteers.”

Congratulations to all those who took part, and to the sponsors who made it happen.


The 33rd Annual Huntly Half Marathon saw a change in management with the young professional Dion Jelley of RUN NZ taking over from the volunteers of Hamilton City Hawks who continued their ownership of the event.

The Event attracted just under 2500 participants and a large number of supporters from all over New Zealand and as far away as Australia and the UK. The participants converged on Huntly for the traditional Half Marathon distance but also a 10km, 5km Fun Run and Walk and kids 2km.

In the Half Marathon, last year’s national women’s half marathon champion Lisa Robertson is shaping up well for a fast Christchurch Marathon this weekend after her convincing win in the Huntly Half.

Robertson winner at Huntly in 2011 returned to battle out the women’s section with Helen Rountree who was second in 2010 and 2011. The pair matched strides through three quarters of the race before Robertson caught a second wind at 14km and charged through for victory in 1h 20m 23s.

“I had a really good second half and got a kick in when it counted, it was a good run and I enjoyed it; the temperature was good,” she said. The police officer, jockey and runner will compete in the Christchurch half marathon this weekend as a build up to the Gold Coast marathon where she hopes to qualify for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Rountree, second in 1h 21m 57s, said that she ran out of steam over the final 5km. “Around 12km and 13km Lisa started to spread out and I spread backwards, I lost a bit of focus and dropped back,” said Rountree.

Former world motocross champion Katherine Prumm was third in 1h 25m 36s with Mikayla Nielsen struggling to the finish with a cramped thigh fourth in 1h 25m 45s.

After a string of minor placings over the past five years Jono Jackson finally claimed victory. He broke clear of half marathon rookie Matt Baxter at the 15km mark and went on to record 1h 10m 49s for the 21.1km.

After a sixth in 2008, a fourth in 2009, a third in 2010 and fourth for the last two years Jackson said it was good to finally crack it. “With no Aaron Pulford and no Kenyan this year it is good to get a win when I can, it’s (been) a long time coming,” said Jackson. “I tried to get away from Matt at 5km and 10km but he came back each time so I went all out on a curve at 15km,” he added.

Baxter who ran 1h 11m 31s for second said that being his first one it was hard work. “I tried to stay with Jono as long as I could but he hit a hill with 6km to go and took off. He’s strong and the way he went into the lead shows how strong he is,” said Baxter.

Alex Parlane who lost some ground at 5km when he had to stop to tie up a shoelace was third in 1h 13m 43s. Johan Vanhoovels was fourth in 1h 14m 39s. Mike Morresey won the half marathon walk in 2h 9m 3s.

Cory Whiting won the associated 10km in 33m 16s, from Simon Rogers 33m 22s, Graham O’Grady 33m 29s and Michael Whitehead 33m 54s.

Emily Roughan won the women’s 10km in 38m 31s from Katy Dawson 40m 36s and Emerson Deverell 41m 39s. Hannah Newlands won the 10km walk in 57m 12s.

First Huntly Locals home were Lynne Wade and Gerald Paterson both seen receiving their prizes from WDC Mayor Alan.

Local community groups the Huntly Lions, Huntly College, Huntly Primary, St Anthonys School, Taniwha Netball, Rangiruru Sports, Kimihia School, Huntly Squash, Huntly Thistle AFC, Huntly Scouts provided great support to the event and the reviews from participants has been outstanding.


The 34th Huntly Half Marathon attracted just under 3000 participants with Sam Wreford of Timaru travelling north for a training run and in the process ran out a clear winner.

The 31 year old led throughout and finished in a career best 1:06:41, nearly five minutes clear of Samuel Murphy of Townsville, Australia. He was 46 seconds faster than his second placing to Kenyan Kip Kemei at Huntly in 2012.

Wreford said that the conditions were ideal, cool with patches of fog. “It was a good solid hit out before the marathon in Christchurch in two weeks. I wanted to see where my shape is and get a bit of an indication,” he said. “I was injured after last year’s Auckland Marathon (which he won in 2:18:57) so that took out about three months of training.

I was going to the Boston Marathon but that wasn’t to be.

Training has since gone well and I ran just under 30 minutes for 10km last weekend in Timaru,” said Wreford. He is not dismissing having a crack at the New Zealand cross country title which he won in Hamilton in 2012. “I’d love to turn up and challenge that cross country especially being in Christchurch,” he added.

Murphy said that he was pleased with his time of 1:11:27 which he was using as a training run for the Cairns Ironman in three weeks. “Coming from Townsville, I felt the cold this morning and had to do a bit of a longer warm-up,” he said. “I’ve got the Cairns Ironman and hopefully Kona after that now I know that my running is working.”

Sasha Daniels of Auckland was third in 1:14:51, Corey Hinde of Hamilton fourth in 1:16:55 and Auckland’s Gavin Stevens (58) fifth in 1:17:18.

New Zealand 10,000m track champion Lydia O’Donnell from North Harbour Bays won the women’s half marathon in a PB 1:17:05 by nearly seven minutes faster than Rotorua’s Sue Crowley. Kovo Kowalewski of Hamilton was third in 1:25:22.

It was the first time for O’Donnell in Huntly. “I haven’t run a half in about three years and I went out a bit fast, so I pulled back and stuck behind the guys. I went through the 10km in 36:50 and I felt really good,” she said. The 23 year old said that she was lucky to be running in a big race. “I just pumped myself up the hills trying to stay with the guys. I’ve run at Kerikeri and the Auckland half and I did today’s race for a bit of mileage for the track season and more 10,000 metres,” she added.

O’Donnell’s previous best was 1:17:25 in winning the 2009 Kerikeri Half.

Crowley was in awe of O’Donnell’s performance. “I couldn’t match that one at the front, she went so fast. I don’t know if it is inspiring or depressing – I’ll go with inspiring,” said Cowley who improved four minutes on her time last year.

Jonny McKee of Pakuranga won the 10km in 32:09, coming two weeks after winning the half marathon in Rotorua in 1:07:48. “I was still feeling the effects of that today. It is a good start to the season so hopefully there is more to come. I’m getting the mileage up for once without getting injured which is nice,” said McKee. “I’m having a good go at the Auckland and New Zealand cross country champs, there’s some good runners around so it will be pretty tough, I’m in the 35 age category now but I will do one more year as a senior and give it everything I can as my last time,” he added.

Ryan McAlister of Wellington was second in 32:38 and Steve Rees-Jones of Hamilton third in 32:40.

Kirsten Milne of Hamilton won the women’s 10km in 39:39.

Thanks go to Brian Curle, Murray McKinnon and Graham Dudfield for the information provided to compile this Event History.

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