WHAC Newsletter 9th May 2024

In this week’s newsletter:

University Relay
Oceania Champs
World Juniors
Hughes Memorial
Wainuiomata Hill slog
Saturday afternoons
Masters Relay
Half-price Pumas
Overlong Welsh course
WHAC Board information
Club contacts


  University Relay
The new look University Relays take place this Saturday, 11 May, out at Queen Elizabeth Park, Mckays Crossing (just past Paekakariki).  This year there is a championship 2 man – 2 Woman mixed relay and also Total Age teams (2 men and 2 women totaling either 170 or 240 years). All other events are non-championship and these four-person teams can be made up of any ages and any genders.

Victoria University Relay
 incorporating the Athletics Wellington Mixed Cross Country Relay Championships
Saturday 11 May 2024
Queen Elizabeth Park, Mackay’s Crossing, Paekakariki

The Victoria University Athletic Club would like to invite your members to the Victoria
University Relay & Wellington Mixed Relay Championship events being held at Queen Elizabeth Park  Paekakariki

 A new event as part of  the UNIVERSITY Relays will be the AW Mixed Relays Championships

There will be 4 grades in Mixed Championship Relays: teams of 4 athletes  

  • Junior – athletes under 20 years at 31 December 2024
  • Open – athletes can be of any age
  • U170 –  athletes have a combined age on the day of at least 170.   
  • U240 – athletes have a combined age on the day of at least 240 years
    Age is taken in years on the day (e.g. 58 yrs 11 months = 58).
    There is no minimum or maximum age for any member of a team

To see Full details for all races see Information Sheet and the  link below to enter your teams for the Victoria University Relay & Wellington Mixed Relay Championships being held 11 May. 

For bigger clubs (Olympic, Scottish, Trentham, WHAC) should have received a spreadsheet directly from entry and results manager Daryl to enter your teams

Entries close 11.59 pm TONIGHT


Rotorua Marathon

www.rotoruamarathon.co.nz – published 4 May 2024

The support from a group of friends inspired Michael Voss to an epic four-second men’s marathon victory from Lake City AC club-mate Cullern Thorby in an unforgettable 60th anniversary edition of the Red Stag Rotorua Marathon today.

Voss and Thorby served up a classic head-to-head showdown of thrust and counter thrust and after the latter – running only his second ever marathon – opened up a 30-second lead, it looked like Voss’ bid for a fourth Rotorua Marathon title had floundered.

However, revived by the support he received from his mates, the New Zealand 10,000m and half marathon champion put on the after burners in the final few kilometres to overhaul the 21-year-old Thorby and claim a fourth Red Stag Rotorua Marathon victory in 2:23:48. Voss also added the New Zealand Marathon title to his growing collection of national titles.  

Thorby, who finished third in the 2023 edition of the Rotorua Marathon, set a magnificent PB by more than two-and-a-half minutes to showcase his hugely exciting future. Ben Parker (2:36:34) rounded out the podium positions in third.

Voss, who claimed a sixth successive Rotorua Marathon podium and added to his victories in 2020, 2021 and 2022, said: “This Rotorua Marathon victory is the one I enjoyed the most. I love having a battle, Cullern was so strong, and it makes it so much more rewarding (to win a race of that nature).

“I tried to take Cullern at 30km and I opened up a lead. Then he came back, and we kept taking turns at the front. He then got a little bit of a gap, and I thought he had me. I almost settled for second, but my workmates kept me going and then I gave it everything at the end.”

Voss took the New Zealand title ahead of Thorby with the bronze medal going to Kyle Bridgeman (New Plymouth Harriers) in 2:39:01.

Thorby, who only seriously started running two years ago and who like Voss works as a builder, said: “It was awesome. I was not expecting to stay with Michael, it was great to race him. He is a good guy, it was a great day, perfect conditions. Since I started running and got out of my party stage, running makes me happy and has been a great release.”

Debbie Donald (Athletics Masterson) claimed an emphatic victory in the women’s marathon to retain her national title in a time of 2:46:30. The 37-year-old mum-of-three forged ahead of Lydia O’Donnell before 10km and marched on to top spot just seven weeks after recording a lifetime best of 2:40:39 in the Nagoya Marathon in Japan.

“I only make a last-minute decision to come here,” said Donald. “After Nagoya I competed over the half marathon in Christchurch, where I finished fourth, and although the time was good my legs felt a bit off. I hadn’t done any long runs leading into today and my legs felt a bit zapped by 32km. But I knew the championship was on the line, and I’m pinching myself now.”

After taking the lead she told herself not to look back and was rewarded with the race win.

“I knew Lydia was a gun runner and she has fast legs too. I just had to keep going. It was so beautiful running around Lake Rotorua. To win the New Zealand title again is so surreal. I hope to come back next year and win a third New Zealand title.”

O’Donnell (Night Ninjas), the former national 5000m, 10,000m and half marathon title holder, plugged on gamely to place second and clinch NZ Championship silver in 2:56:39. O’Donnell’s club-mate Kate Macdonald (3:05:15) snared third and the NZ Championship bronze medal.

On a sun-bathed day in Rotorua the 60th anniversary edition of the Red Stag Half Marathon attracted more than 5100 entries but perhaps the most inspirational participant was 100-year-old Colin Thorne, who completed the First Credit Union 5.5km in 1:11:24 alongside his daughter Pauline Dinsdale.

Whangarei-based Colin, who has completed 22 full Rotorua Marathons and is a Parkrun regular, said: “I’m happy to be here, it is a real pleasure to be at the 60th Rotorua Marathon. This race means so much to me I’ve had a wonderful life. I’m humbled to receive the support I have out on the course.”

Dave Heine, the winner of the inaugural Rotorua Marathon in 1965, also completed the First Credit Union 5.5km, running a handy time of 46:23. Auckland-based Heine, 82, who presented Voss with his specially designed 60th anniversary Red Stag Rotorua Marathon medal, said: “I have very fond memories of my time running the Rotorua Marathon and my time with the Rotorua and Harrier club. It always feels good to come back. I was a little bit of accident in history winning that first Rotorua Marathon, but it is nice to come back and be involved.”

Jared Schnell edged a close-fought men’s Combes Johnston BMW Half Marathon in 1:14:39 with Kumiko Otani in 1:24:37 taking out the women’s half marathon. Casey Thorby, brother of marathon runner-up Cullern, claimed a convincing victory in the Go Media 10km in 30:47 with Femmi co-founder Esther Keown clinching the women’s 10km in 37:23. Hayden Shearman, regular Athletics NZ livestream commentator, proved unstoppable in the First Credit Union 5.5km taking victory in 21:01.  Mya Needham (25:08) was the first woman across the finish line.

For full results go here                                   

Athletics New Zealand have selected a large team to go to the
Oceania Athletics Championships
to be held in Fiji next June

5 WHAC members have been selected:

 Hugo Jones (High Jump)
Analin Rudd (Long Jump)
Imogen Skelton (High Jump)
Naomi Waite (High Jump)
Jag Willers (Steeplechase)

Initial NZ team selected for the
2024 World Athletics
World U20 Championships

in Lima, Peru:


100m – Addira Collette (Palmerston North AC)

400m/400m hurdles – Madeleine Waddell (Hamilton City Hawks)

800m – Boh Ritchie (Hamilton City Hawks)

3000m steeplechase – Catherine Lund (Ariki Athletic and Harrier Club)

High JumpNaomi Waite (Wellington Harriers)

Discus – Suzie Kennelly (Papatoetoe AC)


1500m – Jamie Mora (Whippets Running Project)

1500m -James McLeay (St Pauls Harrier & AAC)

Triple Jump – Ethan Olivier (Pakuranga AC)

Shot – Blessing Sefo (Waitakere City AC)

Javelin – *Douw Botes (Papakura Athletic and Harrier Club)

10km Race Walk – Jonah Cropp (Sumner Running Club)

*Subject to eligibility to represent New Zealand


DATE: Saturday May 25th
TIME: 11.45am – 4pm


Wear attractive safety regalia!
See the best cross-country/mountain runners in the lower North Island at close quarters!
Tell them which way to go!
Make Georgina really happy!

MASSIVE shout out to all those who have put their hands up to marshal this year. The race can’t go ahead without your contribution. 

We are still looking for another
ONE person to have a full complement of marshals for 2024. 

Please let me know your availability ASAP.

Thanks, Georgina


Dorne Cup

Hello everyone,

Hutt Valley Harriers club are pleased to be holding the Dorne Cup again this year.

One of the favourite Cross Country events on the calendar.

Looking forward to seeing many clubs participating.


Paul Strickland

Hutt Valley Harriers Club Captain


Hughes Memorial Cross Country Races

Saturday 1st June 2024
Egmont A & P Showgrounds, Burnside Ave, Hawera

Walkers – all grades 4000m 1:00pm
Women: U18, U20, Seniors & Masters also Men: Masters 65+ 4000m 1:00pm
Boys and Girls: Under 10 and Under 12 2000m 1:30pm
Girls: Under 14 & Under 16   Boys: Under 14 & Under 16   PARA M & F 3000m 1:45pm
Men Under 18 Please note this is being run at the same time as the U14 & U16. 6000m 1:45pm
Men Seniors & Masters U65 & U20 8000m 2:20pm


  •  Walkers – Estimated time competition, prize for closest time. Pre-entry. No watches.
  •  Club uniform must be worn by all competitors.
  •  $12 entry for all grades if entered by 8pm Monday 27th May. Please note: no e-mailed entries will be accepted after this date; you will be required to do a late entry on the day.
  • $20 for all late entries – please have correct amount, no change available.
  • Please deposit entry fees before the day. Account: Hawera Harriers 15 3950 0300174 00
  • No entries accepted after 12:50pm Saturday 1st June.
  • Entry includes afternoon tea.


Boys & Girls U10 to Snr Men & Women 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Masters Men & Women 1st (5 year age groups)
Men/Women combined Walk 1st and 2nd

Team Prizes – 4 runners to count. Awarded for each race except B & G U10/U12 and walk.

  • Spot Prizes drawn from all finishers who did not receive a Merit Prize.
  • Winners must be present to claim spot prizes.
  • Prizes depend on entries per grade. Placings and prizes awarded at the discretion of the race referee and no further correspondence will be entered into.  

For further details contact:
Richard Brewer rcjabrewer@xtra.co.nz

Saturday afternoon runs

There will be a small group going for runs from the clubrooms at 2 pm on Saturdays when there are no interclub races on. We will also have someone taking walkers. Old and new members are welcome to join.


Masters Classic Relay

Entry form: https://tinyurl.com/4mzub2f7


Newport Marathon apologises for too-long course
BBC Wales


Organisers of the Newport Marathon have apologised after discovering this year’s course was almost 300 metres too long.

Run 4 Wales said it had looked into “reports around the accuracy” of the marathon run on Sunday, 28 April.

It added it was “disappointed” to learn the 26.2 mile (42.2km) route had been incorrectly measured.

The Association of UK Course Measurers (AUKCM) has confirmed the course was 0.171 miles (276m) too long.

Organisers said they have agreed with London Marathon Events that runners applying for a Good for Age entry into next year’s race will have their finish times amended.

In a statement they probably said: “Run 4 Wales is disappointed that this has happened at one of its events and understands and apologises unreservedly to those impacted, particularly those aiming for Good for Age qualifying times. We should have called Gabby O’Rourke.”

Organisers said a three-hour finish time would be corrected approximately by 70 seconds, a three-and-a-half hour chip would be changed by 82 seconds while a four-hour finish time would be corrected by 94 seconds.

Membership portal open for the 2024-25 season

With the start of the cross-country season the new membership year is upon us. Due to increases in levies by Athletics New Zealand and Athletics Wellington we had to adjust our prices this year. The new prices for the one year membership are as follows:

Competitive Member
Ages as at 31st December 2024

Age 7-14: $130.00 (inc GST)
Age 15-19: $140.00 (inc GST)
Age 20-22: $165.00 (inc GST)
Age 23+: $195.00 (inc GST)*

*For all Full Time Tertiary Students aged 23yrs and over : $165.00 (inc GST).

Social Member
Age 0-6: $80.00 (inc GST)
Age 15+: $105.00 (inc GST)

Supporters Member
All ages: $45.00 (inc GST)

Note that there is a new 20-22 year olds age group.

For seniors aged 20 and above the membership is a rolling one year membership starting from the day of registration. Please check when you joined last year, you may still have a few months to go. For younger members the membership year finishes on 31 March 2025, irrespective of when you joined.

You can register or renew your membership by following this link:


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Upcoming Events

Saturday 11 May  University Cross Country Mixed relays (inter-club), Mackays Crossing      
Sunday 19 May  Honest 10k, Freyberg      
Sunday 19 May  Masters XC Relay, Trentham Memorial Park, Wellington      
Wednesday 22 May                                     College Sport XC Champs, Harcourt Park      
Saturday 25 May 
  Vosseler Shield (inter-club), Mt Victoria
  King’s Birthday weekend 1-3 June      
Sunday 2 June Aurora Handicap Marathon, Upper Hutt      
Sunday 2 June  Morning club run from clubrooms      
Saturday 8 June  Dorne Cup (inter-club). Trentham Memorial Park. Hutt Valley      
Sat/Sun 15/16 June  NZ Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships, QE2/Ascot Park, Christchurch      
Sunday 16 June  Honest 10k, Freyberg      
Sunday 23 June  Wellington Marathon, Half, 10km, Kids Mile (including Wellington Marathon Champs), Sky Stadium      
Saturday 29 June  Press / Palmer Cups, clubrooms      
  School holidays 6-21 July      
Saturday 6 July  North Island Cross Country Championships, Spa Park, Taupo      
Sunday 7 July  Morning club run from clubrooms      
Saturday 13 July  WUU2K The Wellington Urban Ultra, Wellington      
Sunday 14 July Honest 10k, Freyberg      
Sunday 21 July Wellington Cross Country Championships (inter-club), Harcourt Park      
Saturday 27 July  Resnick Cup Road Race      
Sunday 28 July Masters Road Race, Johnsonville, Wellington Masters      
Saturday 3 August NZ Cross Country Championships, Mission Estate Winery, Hawkes Bay      
Sunday 4 August Morning club run from clubrooms      
Sunday 4 August  NZ Cross Country Relay Championships Mission Estate Winery, Hawkes Bay      
Saturday 17 August Needle Road Relay (inter-club), Kilbirnie Wind Needle, Wellington      
Sunday 18 August

Saturday 31 August
Honest 10k, Freyberg

Wellington 5k Road Championships (inter-club) Wainuiomata
Sunday 1 September Morning club run from clubrooms      
Saturday 7 September Wellington 10k Road Championships (inter-club), Wainuiomata      
Saturday 14 September Henderson Relay (U14), clubrooms      
Sunday 15 September Hutt Marathon events (Hutt & Wellington Half Marathon Champs), Petone      
Saturday 21 September Old Boys Memorial Road Race, clubrooms      
Sunday 22 September Honest 10k, Freyberg      
  School holidays 27 September-13 October      
Saturday 28 September New Zealand Road Relay Championships, Taupo      
Sunday 6 October Morning club run from clubrooms      
Sunday 20 October Masterton Half Marathon, 14km, 7km, Masterton      
Sunday 20 October  Honest 10k, Freyberg      
Sunday 20 October  New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, Christchurch      
Saturday 26 October New Zealand 10km Road Championships, Timaru      
Saturday 2 November

Sunday 3 November
Saturday 23 November
Club runs / walks followed by Harrier Section Prizegiving, AGM & afternoon tea (bring a plate)
NZ 50k & 100k Champs Hagley Park, Christchurch
NZ Long Course Trail Champs 100k WAI2K, Featherston

WHAC Board Information

If you have ideas for the club or any questions, please contact a board member or the secretary, Richard Swan (secretary@whac.org.nz). Your board members are: John Barrance, Richard Swan, Frank Evett, Paul Hewitson, Julie Richards, Gordon Clarke, Georgina Wedge, Bertram Manz, Vickie Humphries, Seth Campbell, Todd Krieble, Nathan Tse, Callum Stewart, and Graeme Morrison.