Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Half Marathon Promises Fast Times

Half Marathon Promises Fast Times

Fast times and cut-throat racing will be the order of the day in Christchurch this Sunday as a collection of Kiwis take on contenders from Australia, Singapore and USA at the Christchurch Airport Half Marathon.

While the Full Marathon remains the feature event, this weekend’s Christchurch Airport Half Marathon is shaping up as the fastest 21.1k in New Zealand for several years. Both the men’s and women’s fields include former Christchurch winners alongside runner-up’s and first time contenders looking for their first win in the South Island’s premier marathon event.

International interest is high, with Australians Brady Threlfall and Australian Patrick Nispel, American Rick Workman and Singapore’s Ying Ren Mok all having credentials to contend for line honours.

Ying Ren Mok, Singapore’s record older over both the half marathon and full marathon, is remembered as the winner of the Christchurch Airport Marathon here in 2011, while Threlfall returns looking to improve on a close fifth place in the half marathon last year when just 23 seconds separated him from the win.

Auckland’s Aaron Pulford will be even more motivated than Brady Threlfall. He finished third in 2013, recording a personal best time of 66min 11secs, but had he been six seconds faster he would have stood on the top step of the podium.

Last year’s winner, Wellington’s Hamish Carson, is overseas chasing Commonwealth Games 1500m qualification. But in a deep field, young runners like Wellington’s Tim Hodge, Wanaka’s Oska Inkster-Baynes, Christchurch’s Callan Moody and Dunedinites Caden Shields and Peter Meffan are all national medallists who will be hunting for their first major win.

There will be much interest too in last year’s 10k winner, Dunedin’s Daniel Balchin, who is now based in Christchurch and taking his first serious tilt at the 21.1k distance. But the rookie most likely to run away with the spoils is Auckland’s Malcom Hicks.

The 25 year old is relatively untested over the half marathon but as a sub-four minute miler and reigning national champion over 5000m, cross country and 10k road he has an enviable mix of speed and strength. With a recent 13min 43sec 5000m and 29min 16sec 10,0000m, Hicks also has the best recent form.

One person who will be looking simply to repeat their form of a year ago is the women’s half marathon champion, Alex Williams.

The 33 year old was a surprise winner in 2013, outpacing recently crowned national marathon champion Sally Gibbs (Kati Kati) and 2012 Christchurch Half Marathon winner Lisa Robertson (Akld).

This year Williams faces a former winner of both the half and full marathon at Christchurch, in the ever-green Gabby O’Rourke.

The Wellington school teacher won the Christchurch Half Marathon in 1998 and 1999 and the Full Marathon in 1994. While that was some two decades ago, the 47 year old remains very competitive with second place in 2012’s Full Marathon and third in 2011’s Half Marathon, when she actually beat fifth placed Williams.

Their rematch will make for interesting watching, with Williams having the faster recent half marathon time of 1hr 16min 25sec when winning last year, not to mention winning the 2013 national half marathon title.

Scheduled for Sunday 1st June, entries for the 34th Christchurch Airport Marathon continue to climb back to pre-earthquake levels, with approximately 4500 runners and walkers from 13 countries expected to line up at the Christchurch Airport start line.

Entries for the 2014 Christchurch Airport Marathon are still open atwww.christchurchmarathon.co.nz, or at the Event Village at Orchard Road, Christchurch Airport on Saturday between 9am and 6pm.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: The Magic Flute - Magic Moments

Max Rashbrooke: Mozart’s The Magic Flute is an extraordinary tale, blending a story of great solemnity, of elegant music and Masonic virtue overcoming hatred and discord, with elements of extreme silliness and pure fantasy. .. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: ‘Lovely Swans Of Art’

On Cillia McQueen's 'In a Slant Light': Diary-keeping forms the basis of much of this memoir – as with earlier poems – and we are led gracefully through the waves of her life as she sails through both rough and smooth waters. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news