Weekly News

In this week’s newsletter:

  • First Up

  • Racing The Old Ghost

  • 5000m Champs

  • March Potluck Dinner

  • Capital Classic Results

  • Wellington Junior Champs Entries Open

  • Upcoming Events 


First Up

It was a great day on Sunday for the Round the Bays run (with only a moderate Wellington wind) and it was fantastic to see so many people from the club out and enjoying it.

There were plenty of impressive performances from WHAC runners, including Nathan Tse again winning the 10km (31:52), Isaac Murphy winning the 6.5km (20.02), Sarah Riceman coming third in the half marathon (1:27.21), and Miranda Spencer coming fifth in the 10k (38:59).

Even club members with young families featured on the leaderboard, with Dan Clendon 1st in the 6.5km active families event (21:19) and Alex Jones second in the buggy walk (31:24).

Congrats also to Emily McNaughtan, who finished fifth in the Challenge Wanaka Half triathlon (4:53:27).

There’s an entertaining account this week by John O’Driscoll of the ultra he ran with partner Sarah Tatton, I hope you enjoy it.

Just a reminder that Junior Interclub 6 is on this Sunday, Feb. 28, at Newtown Park. Sunday is also the last day to enter the Wellington Junior Champs, which is held over two weekends in March.

For future newsletter items or suggestions, please email Nick Perry: nickgbperry@gmail.com


John O’Driscoll and Sarah Tatton


Racing The Old Ghost

Over the weekend, John O’Driscoll and partner Sarah Tatton took on the challenge of the Old Ghost Ultra. It’s a trail run that starts from the old coal-mining town of Seddonville on the South Island’s West Coast and is 85km, including 2,600m of elevation. As the organisers point out, it’s not for the faint-hearted. Sarah was among the leading women, but also at stake was family line honours. John describes how it went:

We started the Old Ghost Ultra in the dark along a 4WD track with nothing but head torches and hundreds of footsteps for company. There was the usual countdown from 10 with a loud bang to get you pumped for your 8-10hour shuffle.

There were a couple runners I had pegged as ones that I should stay behind. I unwisely set off right behind them. The pace felt a little quick but not hard at all. I figured that was fine and I would recover when I needed.

We got to the first aid station and running superstar Ruth Croft yelled out to the fast trail runner she knew in front of me that we were only 2:30min off the lead. This concerned me. I was not meant to be there before an hour and a half. We went through in 1:24. Oh well, I thought. I must be the man. Onwards we went and the last runner I had pegged as someone I should 100 percent be staying behind let me pass. I did and I found him dropping off behind me. Everything was feeling easy and relaxed. The sun had come up and the river valley was beautiful. Perfect day really. I later heard Sarah took it much easier. She was going for the tortoise and the hare style of racing.

I passed another runner I knew I should not be passing. At least part of me was thinking this is silly. I backed off and walked uphill. Five minutes later I was soaked in sweat and standing on the side of the track with my hamstring cramping. 30ks into an 85k race was not the ideal time to get cramp. This wasn’t entirely unexpected. I knew if I backed off for 10min to an hour I could recover and restart at a more conservative pace.

That didn’t happen. I spent the next 55ks either running with cramp threatening, cramping that I could run/walk through, or bent over cramping on the side of the track. This is not how you should run an ultra.

On the positive side, the course got more and more awesome as time went on. It was a beautiful place to be while cramping. Sarah caught me at the 55k aid station looking fresh. I managed a thumbs up to her wave. It was all very emotional. We set off together with Sarah as the 2nd place female. The next section of track involved 6ks of ridgeline running with epic views of the West Coast wilderness.

The women’s race for 2nd looked on! Nancy Jiang was pushing the pace on this last hill and overtook us. Sarah kept her head screwed on and did not push it. She also mentioned she was happy with 3rd. Rubbish I thought. But I kept that to myself. I then got dropped on a crampy section and was quickly passed by the 4th female. All three runners were stretched out in front. Nancy was bombing on but Sarah seemed to be the one looking the freshest coming into the long downhill.

After the top of the hill the next 20ks were gentle. The faster I ran on this the less my hamstrings and calf cramped. I ended up passing 7 or 8 people back, sometimes getting to pass the same person multiple times in between cramp stops. That must have been annoying.

The last 6ks went more steeply downhill. Calves could not handle it. I dropped back a few places before hearing Sarah yell “I’m coming” with 2ks to go. I giggled with fear and put 10 steps forward before Sarah flew past me and I lost all hope. Sarah was second! I finished in a style I am sure anyone watching would have described as graceful. I imagine Sarah finished in a blaze of glory. I don’t know as I’ve stopped talking to her.

Times: Sarah 8:55:13, John 8:57:56. Full results here


5000m Champs

From Paul Hewitson

Here are the latest details on the 5000m Champs:

What? 5000m Championship with various grade categories (U16 through to Over 70).

When? Races at 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. March 27

Where? Newtown Park track

How Much? The fee will be $5 which will contribute towards prizes for first-place finishers.

The entry for the 5000m champs should be available this weekend, we will send a link out for people to register. We are unable to secure any food truck facilities due to commitments with CubaDupa. However, there will be BBQ and drinks for sale on the day. I have added a 70 plus grade category. It will imperative that entrants have their own lap counters. Two runners to one counter maximum. This will be verified at registration. There will be a minimum two races based on predicted times. Slower runners will start at 4:30 pm. There will be a third event if there are over 30 in each field.

We will need the volunteers for the BBQ, start, registration, set up, and lap counters. More information to come.


March Potluck Dinner

From Willie Gunn

Kia ora, everyone. Hope you’ve managed to enjoy all that February 2021 has had to offer so far. The clubrooms will again be open this coming Wednesday (March 3rd) for our monthly potluck dinner. It’s kid-friendly –  we will have at least three kids with us! This is a very casual evening. Bring a little something to share, even if it’s just a good joke, a great work story, or your plan to solve NZ’s housing crisis!

Date: Wednesday 3rd March

Time: Arrive any time from 6:00 p.m., eating around 6:30ish


Capital Classic Results

Congratulations to everybody who competed. Club competitors included:

Women’s 1 mile race walk: Dani McLean 2nd (8:55) and Sarah Du Toit 3rd (9:35)

Women’s 800m B race: Ruby Barton 2nd (2:19) and Maia Wilkinson 3rd (2:20)

Women’s High Jump: Naomi Waite 6th (1.57)

Men’s 1 mile race walk: Daniel Du Toit 1st (6:20); Joseph Du Toit 8th (11:12)

Men’s 1500m B race: Callum Stewart 4th (4:12); Mason Waterworth 6th (4:16); Luca Evett 7th (4:16)

Men’s 100m B race: Sos Saravee 4th (11.17); C race: Matthew Lawrence 3rd (12.07)

Men’s 400m C race: Lachlan Stefanidis 3rd (54.65)

Men’s 800m: Max Karamanolis 1st (1:55); B race: Jaidan Kesry 3rd (2:14)

Full results here


Wellington Junior Champs Entries Open

From Julie Richards

Entries for the Wellington Junior Athletics Champs are open. This is a fun children’s athletics competition held over two Sundays, 14th and 21st March. It costs $5 per event to enter. Below is the link for entries and the draft program. Please note entries close on Sunday 28th February at 11.59 pm.
(No entries will be accepted on the day).
Click here


Upcoming Events 



28th (Sun)  Junior Interclub 6, Newtown Park



7th    (Sun)   Hutt 5k,10k, Fun Run & Walk, McEwan Park

21st  (Sun)   Honest 10k, Whale Tail near Freyberg Pool


WHAC Board Information

If you have ideas for the club or any questions, please contact a board member or the secretary, Melissa Black (secretary@whac.org.nz). Your board members are: John Barrance, Michael Baughen, Melissa Black, Gordon Clarke, Esther George, Teresa Healy, Paul Hewitson, Vickie Humphries, Jean Kozyniak, Bertram Manz, Julie Richards, Miranda Spencer, Nathan Tse, Jack Waterworth and Georgina Wedge.




Bays Relay 2017


Final results available here.

    Turkey trot results available here.

Any name corrections, email to Brendon brendon.flanagan@xtra.co.nz and Paul kiwiquaker@me.com

Timings will stand per timekeeper recordings as they were ledigable.

2 min penalty was added to teams 2 & 4 final time for infringments.

Become a part of history by entering the 50th edition of the Bays Relay!

The Bays Relay is a fast and exciting road relay dating back to 1968. The relay consists of 5 laps varying between 3.85km and 4.80km, beginning at Island Bay and finishing at Evans Bay.

For the more social runners the relay provides a great opportunity to build connections with fellow team members and race around some of Wellington’s most picturesque bays. For the more competitive runners, the Bays Relay is the perfect chance to have a hit out on the road and practice some race tactics before the New Zealand Road Relay Championships.

Entries for this year’s Bays Relay must be made by August 9th.

For more information about entry and access to entry forms click the following link: Bays Relay Entry Form

For information and forms about the Great Bays Relay Turkey Trot click the following link: Great Bays Relay Turkey Trot

Bays relay map: Map