08 July 2000 Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Report
SRI CHINMOY 24 HOUR TRACK RACE CARNIVAL - Sovereign Stadium, Auckland
Incorporating the New Zealand 24-Hour Championship and the New Zealand Centurion's Challenge
By Simahin Pierce
Weather: Fine, 6 - 15 °C
- TRIUMPHANT 22O KM RUN FROM GAVIN SMITH!
- TRIPLE 24 HOUR VICTORIES FOR MAGARET HAZELWOOD!
- 100 MILES IN A DAY BY WALKERS BOB LEE AND GERALD MANDERSON!
- 12 HOUR/ 6 HOUR WINS TO PETER BLOORE AND QUENTIN SMITH!
- COUGARS RELAY TEAM BREAKS 300KM!
- 57 ATHLETES IN ULTRA RACES!
This year's Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Track Race Carnival was blessed with a nice sunny day. There were some afternoon wind gusts but these were gone by dusk. It had threatened otherwise with strong frontal squalls on Friday that delayed the setting up of our banners, tents and signs.
At 8:00 am, on a clear mild Saturday morning, 15 men and 6 women (same numbers as 1999) started the Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour Race along with the team runners who were beginning the first leg of the Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour Teams Relay. Returning from last year were New Zealand Record Holder Blenheim's Winnie Cosgrove (230 km), Dual defending champion Margaret Hazelwood of Picton (P.B. 205 km) and masters record holder Dianne File (167 Km) who ran 820 km in the 2000 Sri Chinmoy 10 Day Race.
In the Men's Race 1998 winner, Gavin Smith of Tauranga (210 km) and 1999 champion Michael Simons (P.B. 226 km) were lining up along side 1999 Lake Taupo (160 km) winner Albie Jane and former world 24 hour road record holder, masters champion Gary Regtien (255 km). Also competing were centurion walkers' challengers, New Zealand race walking champion Gerald Manderson (177 km) and Bob Lee (runner's P.B. 182 km).
The Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Teams Relay had 4 teams of runners. The New Zealand Ultra Runners Association team was led by New Zealand Ultra Runner of the Century Sandy Barwick and multiple national record holder Richard Tout with Ian Cornelius, Erica Hannam and Carolyn Tassie. There was a team representing the â€˜Cougars' - the North Shore Bays Athletic and Sports Club (nicknamed â€˜The Tumbleweeds') and 2 teams by ultra runner Roger Levie - â€˜Round And Round' and â€˜Under Duress'.
The Sri Chinmoy 12 hour and 6 Hour Races started at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.- 5 runners/ walkers in the 12 hour and 8 in the 6 hour. Peter Bloore who ran an excellent 175 km in the 1999 Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Race was this year sharpening up in the 12 hour. In the Sri Chinmoy 6 Hour Race there were 5 marathoners with P.B.'s between 3:09 and 3:33 and super athlete Pam Dickson who has finished an awesome 10 full Ironman triathlons.
With a record 38 athletes on the track it was to be a busy day for the lap counters and helpers.
By early afternoon the track was a flurry of activity. Runners/ walkers were striding around the course hugging the curb in single file to maximize distance (and to minimize the extra distance to be covered by faster athletes when overtaking). Helpers in the kitchen and on the aid stations were moving faster and faster to meet the increasing needs of hungry and thirsty competitors. The relay runners easily glided around the track and looked like they were flying as the ultra athletes gradually left their fresh legs behind. Live musicians played and sang to sooth the runners and walkers hearts and minds, while the lap scorers waved and called out their names as they encouraged them onward!
In the Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Race it was apparent early that Gavin Smith, under the careful guidance of New Zealand 24 hour record holder Ian Curtis, was well trained and ready to reach for new horizons. Gavin ran smoothly within himself and roared through the marathon in 3:36, 50 miles in 6:57, and 100 km in 8:49. Michael Simons, Albie Jane, Gary Regtien and Barney McBryde who reached 100 km in 10:00, 10:14, 10:44 and 11:43 respectively followed him.
Race walkers Bob Lee and Gerald Manderson were relentlessly powering around the track with Bob moving slightly the quicker- Gerald perhaps a little tired from the 10,000 km he has covered in the past year or so. They were joined by a cluster of other walkers led by Keith Still, Kevin Vicary, 73 year old Colin Clifton and Chris and Maureen Metcalfe - all seeking the Centurion's Bronze Medal achievement of 100 km under 14:30.
In the Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour women's race Winnie Cosgrove looked fresh and keen as she gracefully moved around the track passing 50 km in 4:27. Sadly she was forced to stop by a persistent stomach upset after looking so promising during the first 6 hours of the race. Margaret Hazelwood showing all of her renowned strength and determination ground on moving well clear of Dianne File who seemed not yet fully recovered from her 10 day multiday outing in April/ May.
The Sri Chinmoy 6 Hour Race saw consistent running by Auckland's 28 year old Quentin Smith, who overtook Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team runner, 25 year old Tim Cranfield at the 5 hour mark to finish with 64.814 km - Tim completing 63.688 km. Pam Dickson looked very powerful in the latter stages and was third overall with 63.078 km. Masters runner Lex Chalmers, 53, ran 56.214 km. Sri Chinmoy 12 Hour Race leader Peter Bloore, 51, had good opposition from Ironman Peter Spittle, 53, as they ran through 50 km in 4:39 and 4:44 respectively. Peter was a little stronger in the latter part of the race and tallied 112.562 km to 101.762 km by Pete. Nick File, who spent the day before the race building the lap counting quarters, completed 85 km as did Lyttlelton's Lynda Woodward who went on to race walk 100 km in 14:06.
The evening was cool and still. Gavin was running the race of his life as he charged past 100 miles in 15:37:35 and headed towards 200 km and beyond- slowing a little, but still within reach of Ian Curtis' 45-49 master's record of 224 km. Albie Jane was moving into new territory as he steadily increased his lead over Michael Simons - passing 100 miles in 18:49. He then started walking to keep the laps turning over.
Gavin went past 200 km in 21:03 and struggled during the last few hours as he gallantly pushed on to a 10 km new personal best of 220.750 km. Albie Jane also found the last hours tough, but he showed strength and resolve as he achieved a fine 187.789 km.
Margaret Hazelwood running another super race went through 100 miles in 20:38 followed by new centurion walker Bob Lee, who produced real commitment and rarely left the track, in 22:06.
In the closing stages Michael Simons reached 100 miles followed by Gerald Manderson who became a centurion for the 8th time with 1 minute remaining! Margaret took breaks towards the finish but was well clear and set New Zealand 50-54 age records in her final distance of 173.230 km- her 3rd championship in a row! Dianne File stayed on the track for 2nd place covering 137.680 km followed by steadily improving race walker Maureen Metcalfe with 131.924 km.
The North Shore Bays Athletic Club 6 man relay team (The Tumbleweeds), were led by Barry Ellmers (50 km), with Jack Koenen (55.2 km), Doug Bissett (50 km), Derek and Chris Molloy (48.8 km & 48 km) and Keith Chapman (49.441 km). The team ran a fast disciplined race and past 300 km with 3 laps to spare - achieving 301.441 km. They were followed by Roger Levie's â€˜Round and Round' with 261.203 km. - Roger (65.6 km) running a strong second leg of 40.8 km. Then came the New Zealand Ultra Runners Association team with 238.413 km - Erica Hannam (46 km), Sandy Barwick - 4 hours of champion running during the night, and Richard Tout going 13 meters further than Ian Cornelius! In 4th place was Roger Levie's second team â€˜Under Duress', led by Jacqui Jones (42.8 km) which covered 153.390 km.
Sandy Barwick and Richard Tout presented the perpetual trophies to Margaret and Gavin, Kevin Taylor and Ross Pilkington gave out the Centurion awards and the Sri Chinmoy singers saluted the runners and walkers with Sri Chinmoy's special 'Congratulation' song.