Incorporating the New Zealand 24-hour Championship
Sovereign Stadium- Auckland N.Z.
9:00 am Saturday to 9:00 am Sunday 27/ 28 September 2003
Saturday: Windy, showers/ sunny periods
Night: Mild and still
Sunday: Cloudy with some blue skies
Carolynn Tassie's 217 km triumph in NZ 24-hour championship
Barney McBryde - victorious in men's 24-hour
Karen Neale and Ashley Smith win 12-hour races
NZ age record for Colin Clifton, Beverley Horton and Niribili File
Kiwi women outright winners in Self-Transcendence 24 and 12 hour races
The Self-Transcendence 24-Hour and 12-Hour individual races started together at 9:00 am Saturday morning - 31 runners and race walkers from across New Zealand participated.
This year the race was moved from July to early spring to provide an hour or two of extra daylight and hopefully some milder temperatures. We got the warmer temperatures but the unstable equinox weather provided a series of wet and windy fronts that passed over the stadium during our setup and stayed with us during the early part of the race.
Alongside returning 2002 champion Carolynn Tassie in the 24 hour race were first timers Dianne Kowalewski (Stratford) and Margaret Edwards (Rotorua). Also masters champ/ multiday runner Niribili File (Auckland), race walker Maureen Metcalfe (Hamilton)- the first Kiwi woman to walk 100 miles in a day - and rookie, masters racewalker 68 year old Beverley Horton (Auckland).
The men's 24 hour included 2002 runner up Barnaby McBryde (Auckland), Around Mt Taranaki (127 km) winner Albie Jane (Stratford), former Lake Taupo (153 km) winner Shaun Cooper (Auckland), Around Mt Taranaki (127 km) finisher Desmond Hussey (Eltham/ Taranaki) and returning masters record holder Colin Clifton, 77.
In the men's 12 hour race were former 24-hour champions Ashley Smith, Waitara (winner 2002) and Michael Simons, Auckland (winner 1999)- Michael using this race as a warm up for the London to Brighton 87 km ultra a week latter. Also running were former 24 hour world record holder (255 km) and masters champ Gary Regtien, 67 (Auckland)- who ran the Sydney Marathon 6 days earlier - along with Rotorua's Peter Bloore (runner up 2000) and marathon man Colin Smyth - who has run all 39 Rotorua Marathons.
The women's 12 hour featured the 3 Marlborough runners from Blenheim, Annie Marie Faletanoai, Karen Neale and multiple national champion Winnie Cosgrove (competing in her first ultra for 2 years). They were joined by race walkers Linda Law (Auckland) and Hilary Boyd (Auckland).
In the 12 hour race, Michael Simons and Darrin Heaven (Ward/ Marlborough) both started well, going through the marathon split in 3:35 and 3:39 respectively- followed by Gary Regtien, Karen Neale, Ashley Smith, Annie Faletanoai, Winnie Cosgrove and Peter Bloore. By 50 miles, Michael and Darrin had stopped with minor injuries and Karen (8:44) was in the lead pursued by Ashley (8:47), Winnie (9:06), Annie (9:08), Gary (9:10) and Peter (9:48).
The early stages of the 24 hour race saw Shaun Cooper lead past the marathon mark in 3:33 followed by Carolynn Tassie (4:02) and Barnaby McBryde (4:11)- with Albie Jane, Margaret Edwards, Desmond Hussey, Mark Gray (Auckland) and Dianne Kowalewski (Stratford) closely behind.
At 9:00 pm Saturday night the blast of the finish hooter sounded the end of the 12 hour race - at the same moment Richard Tout and Jacqui Mason started the first leg for the 2 four person teams in the Self-Transcendence 12 Hour Relay. Women's race leader Karen Neale had tenaciously hung on to win the 12 hour race outright. Karen finished with 107.828 km ahead of the persistent Ashley Smith (105.613 km) and the elegant, floating style of Winnie Cosgrove (101.123 km) - followed by Annie Faletanoai (100 km), Gary Regtien (99.226 km) and Peter Bloore (97.106 km).
In the 24-hour race, Carolynn Tassie had moved into overall 1st place reaching 100km in 10:13, followed by Barney McBryde (10:53), Shaun Cooper (11:59), Desmond Hussey (12:10) and Albie Jane (12:24). During the night, Shaun and Albie had difficulties, slowed down and eventually stopped. Margaret Edwards had leg cramps, took a break and began power walking. Desmond Hussey, Dianne Kowalewski, Mark Gray and Ian Martin also shuffled, walked and pushed onwards. Masters competitors Niribili File, Colin Clifton and Beverley Horton remained cheerful and kept moving into the night. The wind and misty rain had past and a calm dry-spell embraced the stadium.
Throughout the second half of the 24 hour race Carolynn Tassie was in a class apart - running a marvelous well-paced race showing new levels of strength and fitness along with her renowned, smooth running form. She finished with a world class personal best 217.281 km - also a women's race record and NZ masters (45-49) record.
Men's 24 hour winner Barnaby McBryde ran his best race. After running a strong first half, he struggled and then brought forth all of his best warrior qualities during the night to achieve his finest result - a personal best 180.701 km. Barney was followed by a resolute Desmond Hussey (164.715), the 'never give up' Dianne Kowalewski (153.540 km) a brave Margaret Edwards (148.607) and a resilient Ian Martin (138.246 km).
NZ Master's records were set by a pleased Niribili File (women's 55-59) 130.883 km, the gallant Colin Clifton (men's 75-79) 119.672 km and ever smiling Beverley Horton (women's 65-69) 113.117 km. In the 12 hour teams relay the Green Coast Rats â€˜A' Team ran 135.184 km from the â€˜Purple Panters' 83.087 km.
At the awards, ceremony NZ ultra greats Sandy Barwick and Richard Tout presented the Sandy Barwick and Richard Tout 24-Hour Perpetual Trophies to 2003 champions Carolynn and Barnaby- while Maureen Metcalfe presented the New Zealand Centurions Club medals.
A little later, the heavens opened and a torrential downpour drenched the bump-out crew. The storm that followed on Sunday night brought 120 km/h winds, which flattened our two rented marquees- in hindsight, we were fortunate that for most of the race we were cocooned in the 'eye of the storm' !