37th New Zealand Road Relay Championships – Akaroa
h to reminess back to 1989. It was a bigger than usual event being the 50 the anniversary of the Takahe-Akaroa.
New Brighton were odds on favorites to win the event. But we were sure we had the team to beat them.
The write up in the paper at the time was basically. “We are not going to let some y Wellington team beat us or something along those line from Peter Renner.
After a number of years of being 2nd or 3rd to New Brighton at NRR. We were feelinng pretty good this year about really beating them for a change.
Our team was was very consistent but no real stars.
Lap 1 Martin MacDonald
Lap 2 Liam Healey
Lap 3 Tim Crawford
Lap 4 Alistair Leslie
Lap 5 Dallas McCallum
Lap6 Ted McLaughlin
Lap 7 Bruce Blair
Lap 8 Pat Meffan
We manage stay in contact for the first 2 laps, then on Lap 3 Tim ran a scorcher (@ 29m 30s) past Don Greig I think it was.
From there on in we just tried to maintain it. On the last lap it was Renner against Meffan, but we had a 2 min lead. We ended up winning by 1m 30. (at the wharf)
All the team ran well in appalling conditions, I always wondered what we might have done time wise if the weather had been better.
I think we may have gone under 4 hrs but not sure about the record.
I still have the the special anniverary wine from this event and have the recording of the Race from TVNZ.
TVNZ did a special doco on the race due to it being the 50th anniversary. It showed some great footage of the early days with all the christian clubs etc. and then finished off with our race in the pouring rain.
Those were the days.
Perhaps our 50 plus guys can do it again this weekend
Over two and a half thousand views of this thread, and only 30 comments. Come on, where’s the banter?
Nice post AC about 1989. My folks both ran WHAC but had finished up well before then. I was still only in my early teens then, but I recognise over half of the names in that winning team there. Any chance of getting that vid uploaded to youtube or getting someone on this site to get it on here somehow?
Ok here we go, but only because it’s afternoon tea time and I’m bored….
Bound to happen:
1. Cavy will not regain the boat race trophy.
2. Don Greig will recount a story of how Rooter Renner sank 3 handles at the Hilltop pub pre warm up then smashed lap 8 to take the title.
3. Someone in the Otago outfit will fight someone in the Cavy outfit.
4. Craig Motley will be like a kid at Christmas
1. New Brighton will fold and Scottish will win.
2. Malcolm Hicks will give Lap 5 a really really really good nudge!
3. Ben Anderson will raise a few eyebrows on lap 1 or 2
Prob won’t happen but would be funny:
1. The Maggot made a triumphant return to his hometown and bared all much to the delight of the National Road Relay faithful
When are Scottish going to release the B.O.A.T race rules?
Following the near-precedent set in the recent America’s Cup, I declare that B.O.A.T rules may be modified during the competition in favour of whoever buys/can afford the most rounds for the rest of the crew.
Come on Mad_Hats, buying titles has no place at relays.
Yes really interesting post AC. Would be great to get the TVNZ video onto You Tube if possible, would be inspiring and a great record.
Every time this event rolls around I’m still staggered by some of those lap records. Tobin’s on 3 and 4 are often referred to as the soft ones…they are still 2:50 and change/km
Only two senior men have gotten within 30ish seconds of a record since 2000: Aish lap 2 2001, Olsen lap 6 2009.
Ning, what are the course records for each lap? I couldn’t find a link
All the best to those racing.
The unofficial doc I’ve got lists the following for senior men:
28:12 Gregor Cameron 1989
30:40 Kerry Rodger 1989
28:35 Chris Tobin 1986
26:06 Chris Tobin 1988
30:41 Paul Smith 1993
25:19 John Hellemans 1981
26:41 Gary Elliot 1981
30:18 Phil Costley 1997
Ning, those records are definitely tough. Would be good to hear from someone who has been around a while about how many legs allowed significant cutting of corners. pretty sure that when I ran the downhill on 7 in 1989 that the 1m rule either wasn’t in place then (on the DH section) or else very lenient.
I think that Costley’s record came as a result of another course change on Leg 8 that year and is possibly the record most likely to go down with the right athlete. – dc
Races are underway in Christchurch with the Women and MAsters having started at 9:15am NZ time.
The Men’s A Grade gets underway in 2 mins at 10:15am
Updates and results will be collected and posted here over the next four hours.
Athletics NZ NRR Page:
NZRun on Facebook (Will gather some FB content here)
NZRun on Twitter (#NRR13M or #NRR13W)
Early in to Lap one for the Men New Brighton (Balchin?), Scottish (Hamish Carson) and Tauranga (MacDonald?) have a comfortable lead: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVwyI5XCEAE23Gr.jpg
At the end of Senior Men Lap One:
1st: New Brighton / Olympic: (Balchin)
– 1 min
2nd: Scottish (Carson)
– 20 seconds
6th Scottish B (Day)
Scottish lead by 1 mins from Hamilton Hawks after four Laps
SW: Bays Cougars with 3 min lead after 3 Laps
Still waiting for Lap two updates
Result from junior men. 1. Wellington Harriers. 2. Auckland City. 3. Christchurch Avon. Nice work WHAC! – Courtesy of @MandySimpson
MW: Scottish lead by 4+ mins from Hamilton Hawks into Lap 8 after huge run from Melissa Moon uphill
MM:Start of Lap 8 = Nelson, Hawks, Papanui, Scottish
SW: On Lap 8 = Bays Cougars easy ahead of UC with Scottish back in 3rd
SM: At Hilltop = NBO – 1 min – Scottish – 2mins+ Wesley, Pak, UC, Bays
Still no info on JW race
SM: New Brighton/Olympic takes title over Scottish in 2nd and Wesley 3rd
MW: 1st Scottish
MM40: 1st Nelson, 2nd Hawks, 3rd Papanui, 4th Scottish
MM50: 1st WHAC, 2nd Auckland Uni
SW: 1st Bays, 2nd UC, 3rd Hawks, 4th Scottish
Still no info on JW race
1st: Auckland City
2nd: Christchurch Avon
3rd: University of Canterbury
Apologies that there wasn’t any mid-race updates for the JW – but there was a distinct lack of info available
Athletics NZ’s quick event wrap-up:
Provisional results are up, although the splits for the M40 Scottish team are wrong for some reason, with some runners being shown up to 11 seconds slower and others faster. Don’t know if it’s just us.
A couple of reflections on the senior men’s race:
Great to have a good head-to-head tussle out front over the full 80km relay distance. Only a few seconds in it at the end of lap 7, great for the crowd. Also, first time two teams have gone under 4:10 in the same year since 1997, showing some good depth emerging in NZ. We just need to work on getting more teams under the 4:20 benchmark (one year in the mid-80’s 8 teams from Canterbury alone went under 4:20).
Balchins run on lap 1 really was exceptional. A lot get said about lap distances subtly changing and wind playing a factor with some of the records. The fact is, Balchin to my knowledge ran the fastest lap 1 in the post “corner cutting” era. This may sound pedantic, but every time an athlete takes a long bend rather than cutting across the diameter (as they were allowed to do in the road closure days pre mid-90’s) it adds distance and on down hills significantly slows the runner. Laps 1, 6 and 7 are particularly affected. Don Grieg, who probably has more room to comment than anyone, reckons it adds around 120-150m on each of those 3 laps. (I tend to agree, cutting across 20m diameter of a circle saves just over 10m, those laps each have 10+ such bends that would be relevant).
The time lag is even more significant on the downhills as so much momentum is lost. So Balchin getting within a minute of Gregor Camerons astonishing lap 1 time had to be the run of the day for me.
Without applying true science it had to be worth a 28:45 with corner cuts. (See comments below re Olsens hill top time in 2009, he would have gone VERY close to the record if he was allowed to cut through the 14 right hand bends on that climb).
Very good run by Ashkettle as well, significantly faster than Blincoe ran on the same leg in 2005, though not as quick as the Tipton Tiger ran in 2009. I think Van Barnfield ran the quickest lap 7 since 1997 too, and probably one of the fastest post-corner cut era legs down the hill as well.
Great to have Aish involved, and hopefully Ashkettle can encourage some mates to come and get amongst it in future years.
Enjoyed the mid-field tussle for the minor medal. Wesley too much depth on the day, but UC and Pak not too far behind. A pity WHAC didn’t field a full strength team, they should have been in with a sniff too. A bunch of young guys (and Dobbo) did well for bays and might be a team to watch in the future.
Finally, well deserved win for NBO who are surely the most decorated team in NRR history (certainly the are in T2A history). LT has worked hard on getting that team right for many years, and has gone close a few times. Pulled it off with largely local guys who can be seen jogging around Hagley park any day of the week, and Hmac and OIB who have been loyal members to the club for years (may not be well known in the rest of NZ but those guys regularly pitch up for club races in chch for NB).
Wont it be confusing for spectators when there is a three way tussle in Yellow vests in 2014?
Hi ning , although these records during the 80’s were set without the penalties that are now in place . I have always believed that it has more to do with depth of a team than “corner cutting ” . A low 14 minute 5 k runner to 2.20 marathon runner was more than often put on one of the weaker legs. lap 3, lap 4 lap 6 and lap 7(due to being one of the slower runners in the team) . Anyone that was “caught by a race referee cutting over the centre line was automatically DQFed (no time penalties back then) .
To add to this it was almost impossible to cut a corner on lap 6 during an open year (cars were bumper to bumper ) – quite often athletes were forced into taking a longer route around traffic into the shingle on the side of the road. I’d like to add great runs by the first 2 teams and as you say especially Balchin . hopefully they all look at the records and aspire to break them. No reason why they can’t be beaten. Start planning now .
A few more quick thoughts:
I didn’t see it (stuck in traffic) but that run by Oska was clutch. Given what had happened between the NBO had Scottish last year on lap eight, and all the pre-race talk about Mike Aish, and what had just happened on lap seven, Oska showed incredible resolve under pressure. Amazing.
Sam Kiddâs run on lap five was staunch too. After lap four 3rd place was still up for grabs among a handful of teams but Kiddâs run allowed Wesley to come home well on the last few laps and resist a fast second half from UC.
Again I didn’t see much of it, but great close race between Otago and Cavy (and WHAC closing quickly at the end too). That big 6th lap by Andrew Pohl against Bevan Stevens looked like it was a turning point?
I will have to apologise as apparently I have my facts wrong. Certainly, it seems, lap 6 has always had the 1 metre rule enforced as mentioned by Jonah Takalau and reiterated to me by our club president. Don Grieg’s band may have been doing some corner cutting out front on the years that they were so far ahead that the race referee couldn’t keep up with them. Lap 7 may not have been as well policed.
As for lap 1, I have a photo of my uncle (Roger Sharpe) running down the centre line of Dires pass road in 1976 with Ian Milne, and there are cars on either side of them. There is no way they would have gotten away with that in this era.
Now that I have managed to remember my login and password…
A few additional insights from the weekend that others may not know about the battle to the finish line, and hopefully show just how close the racing really was which might not be gained from the results alone.
Great runs from Ashkettle and van Barnevald!
1. Lap 2 – Matt Harris took approx 15 seconds out of Hayden McLaren before (the hill / not sure what split was at top of the hill)McLaren claimed them back and added a couple of valuable seconds.
2. Lap 6 – Rowan Hooper took 20 seconds out of Nick Rennie over the first half of the hill. Rennie then reclaimed and found another 11 seconds
3. Lap 4 – Nick Burrow was described to Rees Buck as “some 800m runner”. Was registered on Wednesday. Rees he just keeps himself fit – his first race in ages.
Now I’m just rambling…but recent facebook activity has prompted it.
1993 – Mark Bailey took bronze in the JM for New Brighton behind a strong WHAC that included the infamous Terry Harlen with Taka a comfortable 2nd. New Brighton SM finally won Akaroa at NZRR.
1993 – Mark Bailey, Nick Burrow, Rob Mitchell and Sarah Biss made the NZSS schools team – and is threatening photos
1994 – Mark Bailey with Rob Mitchell won NZRR junior title running for Old Boys United. Bailey won Lap 1 at Masterton ahead of Matt Dravitski (Scottish) and Andrew Lewis (Old Boy’s) later walked. Taka were 2nd again for maybe the 3rd or 4th year in a row but got there in 95.
Mark Bailey and LT both got near identical speeding tickets in near identical rental cars half an hour apart on the way back to Wellington after the social. New Brighton senior men won Akaroa for the last time.
Friday night – Mark Bailey said…”We haven’t won this thing LT since 1994″ Oska replies….”I was three!”
Thanks for a great race and look forward to another tough race in 2014.
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