Athletics New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, Mt. Victoria, Wellington Sunday, 15 May 2005
Updated 25 Mar 2013.
- Miles Coverdale, 1st
- Colleen Singleton, 4th
- Mike Wakelin, 2nd
- Matt Prosser, 21st
- Neil Sargisson, 34th
- Brendon Blacklaws, 2nd
- Matt Singleton, 3rd
- Samara Sheppard, 3rd
- Barry Prosser, 1st
- Sheryne Beeby, 3rd
- Mike Wakelin
- Brendon Blacklaws
- Matt Singleton
- Samara Sheppard - if she were old enough
Club captain's reportOn a fine Sunday morning recently several hardy club members took to the steep up and down mountain running course on Mt Victoria in the 2005 New Zealand Mountain Running Championships and came away with some outstanding results.
After Miles Coverdale had flown the club flag in the Recreational Run, claiming first place for the Senior Menís one lapper, it was a tide of black Olympic singlets that greeted the finish-line crowd in the next race.
With all grades except the Senior Men competing together in the 10am race, Olympic had a good representation for their supporters to cheer for. At the end of the first lap Matt Singleton and Brendon Blacklaws, (Junior Men), were in 2nd and 3rd places reasonably clear of the next runners in their grade and Barry Prosser was hovering about 5th or 6th among the Masters Men.
Meanwhile Samara Sheppard was running strongly and confidently in the one lap Junior Womenís race. Samara commented that checking the course the previous weekend, especially the tricky downhill sections, had improved her confidence so much so that she finished an incredible 3rd and received her first National medal. Samara had come from 5th to 3rd just in the final downhill section. With her 3rd place Samara would have had a good chance of filling the final place in the NZ Junior Womenís team for the World Mountain Running Championships in September, but unfortunately she is not old enough as the IAAF limit international representation to athletes 16 years of age or older and Samara is only 14. So to finish 3rd against athletes up to 19 years of age was a fantastic result, one she should be very proud of. I know the club members present and who witnessed the race were.
While Samara was being congratulated, Matt, Brendon and Barry were well into their second lap as was Sheryne Beeby running in the Masters Womenís grade. Sheryne was a late entry and was only the day earlier tossing up whether to join Miles in the Recreational Run or have a go in the Championship race. Well she made the right decision as she too claimed a Bronze medal in the Masters Women 45 -49 age group.
Matt and Brendon continued to battle it out for second place and in the end Brendon out sprinted Matt down the final downhill section to win the Silver medal by just 3 seconds. Meanwhile Barry was back to his old form and moved through the field on the second lap as he often does, to claim third overall Masters Man and win the Masters Menís 50 -54 age group. Barry was just three seconds behind Matt Singleton which had the commentator asking if this was the Olympic club championships.
As the NZ selectors had indicated the first two Junior Men were automatic selections for the NZ team for the World Championships, Brendon had just earnt his first NZ representative singlet. Matt was a nervous young man when the selectors named the initial selections for the NZ team at the prize-giving later in the afternoon. However he need not have worried as the selectors saw common sense and named Matt in the team due to his very close finish with Brendon. Matt retains his position in the Junior Menís team after his initial NZ representation in Italy last year. Daniel Robertson also started the Junior Menís grade but suffered from dehydration and was advised to withdraw by medical staff as a precaution. This was a shame for Daniel as he had put in some consistent effort in preparation. There will be other days however and we will read of great results from him in the future.
Well that was not the end of it. The Olympic supporters had hardly settled down from what they had just witnessed when a strong Senior Menís field took to the mountain for a gruelling three laps. After just one lap excitement levels soared again among the loyal Olympic supporters as Mike Wakelin ended the first lap running in 3rd place. With some cunning and thoughtful running up the Hay St footpath in the shade, Mike was only just behind the eventual winner Phil Costley from Papanui Toch H, (Chch) and defending champion, Callum Harland from the CYM, (Ham). By the time he started the final lap, Mike had moved ahead of Harland with some inspired and confident downhill running. Mike held his place well on the final lap and in fact drew away from Harland to finish a magnificent 2nd and win a rare Silver medal for himself and the club, in a Senior Menís championship.
Matthew Prosser and Neil Sargisson also took on the mountain in the Senior Menís race and achieved credible results considering they have only just started back into serious running over the past few months. Matthew finished 21st while Neil finished 34th and commented that he may not substitute a three lap 13.5km mountain running championship for a Sunday Long Slow Distance run in hurry in the future.
By the end of the day Olympic had three people in the NZ Team, Mike Wakelin, Brendon Blacklaws and Matt Singleton, a Gold, two Silver and three Bronze medals, many very happy Olympic Club team mates and supporters and a very very proud club captain.