57 Runners and race walkers participated in the 12th Sri Chinmoy 6-12-24 hour ultra track races and 12-hour teams relay at Auckland's Sovereign Stadium - View Results, Photos >>>
Matt Bixley & Sophie Anderson victorious in Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour N.Z. Championships
Wayne Botha & Simon Clendon win Sri Chinmoy 12-hour & 6-hour races
âRace Walking Aucklandâ set new walking record in Sri Chinmoy 12-Hour Teams Relay
After a cloudy, dry weather start, rookie Matt Bixley 37, ran strongly and unwaveringly through heavy, and at times, torrential rain on Saturday afternoon to achieve a milestone 201.200 km in his first 24-hour track race. The cheerful, hardy, Dunedin runner showed the maturity and robustness gained from his 24-hour âRogeanâ team events. Paced by 12-hour winner Wayne Botha during the first half, and possessing more than useful 9.38 100 km speed, Matt always looked comfortable and in command of the race.
24-hour runner-up, Aussie Geoff Last 58, from the Gold Coast, ran his own race and was very steady and consistent in achieving an excellent 180.538 km. Geoff was followed by 3 Aucklanders, who just made it past the 100-mile benchmark, David Walker (165.344 km), Winston Sweatman (162.075 km) and Nick Linton (161.934 km).
Nick 22 Auckland, showed determination, grit and commitment while really struggling during the last few hours. 100-miles was his goal and this had looked attainable throughout most of the race -but the closer Nick got the more the beckoning 100-mile goal loomed and threatened to slip out of his grasp.
With less than 15 minutes remaining, Nick very slowly and painfully eased the last steps to the 100-mile mark, where he sat on a chair; immediately broke out into a beaming smile and enjoyed a photo celebration â happily holding the 100 mile sign while surrounded by his family and team of enthusiastic supporters.
Race walkers Keith Still, 57 from Tauranga (144.853 km), and Aussie Doug McKay, 59 from Melbourne (134.650 km), both walked strongly in the conditions with Keith achieving his best 24-hour performance on the track.
In the womenâs 24-hour Sophie Anderson 31, from the Auckland Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team had foot problems and several changes of shoes, but remained happy and smiling throughout to achieve 1st place with 127.822 km - followed her team-mates Tanya Ryan 43, from Christchurch (117.640 km), Nabhoniya Butler (113.113 km) and masters champion Niribili File 63, (109.227 km).
12-hour winner, Wayne Botha 37 from Auckland, looked fit, fresh and unfazed by the rain and wind as he smiled all the way to a 114.208 km personal best. In 2nd place after Wayne was 2006 12-hour champion, Darren Heaven (103.285 km), followed by Steve Ciprian (94.374 km) and masters champion Gary Regtien 73, who ran a fine 89.474 km. Aucklander Angela Lemanis 36, ran 60.000 km.
Simon Clendon 44 from Auckland, also looking well trained and focused, was the winner of the Sri Chinmoy 6-Hour Race with a well paced 65.899 km run. Richard Pedley 30, from the Auckland Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, was 2nd (61.098 km) after a good tussle with Jason Rudkin-Binks 41 Auckland, (60.420 Km). Masters race walker Graham Cleal 67 Orewa, walked 40.874 km.
Eva Scheiwe 21 Hamilton-Germany, won the womenâs 6-hour with a gutsy 53.214 km from Carol Worthington 43 Auckland, (44.522 km).
The Sri Chinmoy 12-Hour Teams Relay started simultaneously with the finish of the 12-hour individual race at 9.00 pm Saturday evening - the 6 teams of 4 runners ran throughout the night, finishing at 9.00 am Sunday with the 24-hour competitors. The heavy rain had eased by the beginning of the relay and the conditions during the second 12-hours were cool, damp, some fine drizzle and a light breeze.
The winning team was the âAll Starsâ (143.341 km) with Alan Sutcliffe (34.800 km), Aaron McCurdy (36.400 km), Craig Speakman (38.000 km) and Gareth Kretzer (34.141 km). In 2nd place was the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team â Men (133.521 km) who just held off the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team A â Women (132.280 km).
The âRace Walking Aucklandâ Team led by Brooke Cowsill (27.631 km) and Alana Barber (recent national 10 km race walking champ.) (27.200 km), together with Shirley Barber (23.600 km) and David Barber (23.200 km), surpassed the âHamilton Hopefulsâ 2003 race walking record by 2 km â setting a new mark of 101.631 km.
At the awards ceremony NZUA President and N.Z. ultra great Sandy Barwick MBE, presented the Richard Tout and Sandy Barwick Perpetual Trophies to 2009 24-hour champions Matt Bixley and Sophie Anderson.