WHAC Newsletter Sept. 14, 2023

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In this week’s newsletter:


First Up
New Zealand Road Champs Results
Drought and Balchin Win Road Champs

National Road Relays Information
Wellington Masters AGM 
Hutt Marathon

Hatuma Half Marathon
Upcoming Events


First Up

It was a lovely sunny spring day with a just a touch of wind in Palmerston North on Sunday for the New Zealand Road Champs. The 2km loop around the Massey University campus was challenging and a bit slower for most than the Wainuiomata course for Wellington Champs. The first kilometre offered a gentle sloping downhill. That was followed by a sharp uphill for a few hundred metres and then a gradual uphill back to the start/finish area.
It turned out to be a great day for the club, with a haul of four individual gold medals, two silvers and three bronzes. WHAC runners also featured in many of the Wellington region team medals.
A huge congratulations to Sarah Drought, who took out the Senior Women’s 10K race in 35:23. It was her second win at the champs and came 11 years after she won her first title. Also winning their divisions were newcomer Alexander MacBeth, who won the U16 Boys 4K by one second in a battle to the line (12:43), Vickie Humphries, who won the W55 5K (20:50), and Paul Hewitson, who had a buffer of more than two minutes in winning the M60s 10K title (37:29). Nathan Tse also had an outstanding run to pick up a bronze medal in the Senior Men’s 10K race (30:53). There are more results below and an Athletics New Zealand story which features comments from Sarah and Nathan. 
A reminder that this Saturday is the club’s Old Boys Memorial Race and we are hoping for a big turnout to challenge last year’s 26 finishers. The full course is about 6.7 kms and offers a good opportunity for runners to get up to race pace ahead of National Road Relays at the end of the month.
And if the Saturday racing isn’t enough, then on Sunday it’s the September edition of the Honest 10K, which starts near Freyberg Pool at 8:30 a.m.
This week I’m adding a couple of photos that we weren’t able to run over the past couple of weeks on the GameDay platform. 
For future newsletter items or suggestions, please email Nick Perry: nickgbperry@gmail.com

Wellington and WHAC Masters Men at the NZ Road Champs in Palmerston North


New Zealand Road Champs Results

Gold: Sarah Drought SW 10K (35:23), Alexander MacBeth Boys U16 4K (12:43), Vickie Humphries W55 5K (20:50), Paul Hewitson M60 10K (37:29)
Silver: Nat Hardaker W40 5K (19:48), Charlotte Kerr W55 5K (21:00)
Bronze: Nathan Tse SM 10K (30:53), Dan Clendon M45 10K (33:15), Jamie Duncan M40 10K (34:49)
Placings: Xanthe Wong 19th GU16 (16:48), Lillie Beliveau 11th GU18 (21:26), Abby Carver 6th WU20 (20:29), Eliza Squire 7th WU20 (20:44), Sarah Hay 9th WU20 (23:01), Liam Chesney 9th SM (33:09), Max Karamanolis 10th SM (33:13), Julian Baker 17th SM (35:12), Esther George 6th SW (36:38), Saskia Cosgrove-Drayton 9th SW (38:02), David Taylor 6th M40 (36:39), Graeme Morrison 5th M50 (37:44), John Beale 8th M45 (37:46), Nick Perry 7th M50 (38:37), Ian MacFarlane 7th M60 (46:01). 

Wellington teams:
Gold: WU20 (Abby Carver, Eliza Squire, Sarah Hay), SW (Sarah Drought, Esther George, Saskia Cosgrove-Drayton), M35 (Dan Clendon, Jamie Duncan) M50 (Paul Hewitson, Graeme Morrison), W50 (Vickie Humphries, Charlotte Kerr)
Silver: WU18 (Lillie Beliveau), SM (Nathan Tse, Liam Chesney, Max Karamanolis), W35 (Nat Hardaker)


Sarah Drought and Esther George (right) lead the way at the NZ Road Champs


Drought and Balchin Win Road Champs

From Athletics New Zealand

Daniel Balchin the sole South Island competitor, outshone the North Island runners with a gutsy run to clinch the New Zealand 10km road title raced around the Massey University Campus in Palmerston North.

From the early stages of the five 2km lap race the battle for line honours was down to Balchin and Ronan Lee. They matched strides well clear of the rest through to the end of lap three. Balchin used the uphill to full advantage to break clear and hold a winning edge over the final 2km. With thumbs raised he crossed the finish in 30:27, 13 seconds clear of Lee with Nathan Tse taking a well-earned bronze in 30:53.

It was the third New Zealand road title for Balchin having also won in 2016 and 2017.

“It was a great two way battle with Ronan and I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go,” said Balchin. “It wasn’t until the last lap where I got a gap. It was a good battle and Ronan made me work for it. I’m always stoked in getting a national title, I last got the 10km road title six years ago so it’s a long time between drinks.”

Lee was pleased to receive his first national medal. “On the hills on the last three laps I was able to make a move on Dan and I’d drop him up there. But then on the flat bit I tried to recover but he wouldn’t let me and coming into the last lap he broke me and I couldn’t stick with him and I held on for second.”

Tse said that he was hurting from the start and that he focused on Lee in an effort to hold third ahead of Andre Le Pine-Day. “I had the best seat in the house, watching the Dan and Ronan show play. Full credit to the first two they put on a good race.”

The same scenario played out in the senior women’s 10km with Sarah Drought and Katrina Andrew holding fort out front in a two-way dual. Andrew held an edge over the first three laps but going into the final 2km circuit Drought was able to consolidate a seven second advantage out to a 15 second winning margin.

Drought recorded 35:23, with Andrew second and Sophie Hicks third in 36:14.

Drought, who had last won the New Zealand road some 11 years earlier, said: “I changed my tactics from the (New Zealand) cross country championships, and I came into this, being patient and thankfully Katrina did put on a decent pace, which made being patient much easier. I knew at some point I had to try and go for it and in my mind I thought around 4k on the flat seemed sensible, but the last 2km definitely feels like a long way.”

Full story here


The 2023 Henderson Relay

National Road Relays Information

There is a website with all the information about the long and short courses. You can find it here

A new course:

Loburn 68, it’s simple really. Loburn Domain is the central hub of the event just across the Ashley River / Rakahuri from Rangiora. The 68 is the combined distance of two loops through the central hub of 34k each. To make it more exciting and inclusive, there’s also a one loop (39k) for 6-person teams.

How we got here – from T2A to Loburn 68:

The iconic Takahe to Akaroa Road Relay has delighted road runners from 1935 to 2021. It was the premiere road relay for Canterbury, the South Island and probably New Zealand. However, highway safety requirements made it impractical and so a temporary solution was developed in 2022 using a course in Bottle Lake Forest near Christchurch. Some benefits of a loop-based course and an events hub were highlighted.

Sure, change isn’t always easy but the amazing history of T2A will be part of the legacy for a new event, something exciting to build a stellar future.

With this in mind we sought a road relay course that is safe, convenient, sustainable and appealing; the Loburn 68 was created. Bordered by hills and rivers, the rolling terrain is bisected by quiet country roads. Just north of the Rangiora township, it’s in easy reach of Christchurch, about 30 minutes drive away.

Scarlett Anderson was first woman home in the Tough Guy & Gal Champs in Rotorua


Wellington Masters AGM 

From Vickie Humphries

Starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, 28 September, the Wellington Masters AGM will be held at the Olympic Clubrooms, Alex Moore Park, 29 Bannister Avenue, Johnsonville

Wellington Masters Athletics ensures masters records are updated and maintained, organises two local races during the season and periodically hosts the North Island and National Masters Track & Field Championships.  President Liz Bentley is asking if each club would supply a Masters committee member for a 12-month period.  Meetings are held just once per month and are usually online. If this is something you could do, please let Liz know directly (liz@withkudos.com), or talk with Vickie Humphries.


Hutt Marathon

From Ken Howell, race director

The Hutt marathon is on Sunday 17 September. Register before 5 September to avoid the late fee. Incorporating the Wellington Centre marathon championships.
Cash prizes for placegetters in the marathon run, and half marathon, 10km runners and walkers.
And a 5km fun run and Cool kids Kilometre.
Register now on huttmarathon.co.nz


Hatuma Half Marathon

From the organisers

Sept. 17, Central Hawke’s Bay

Into its fourth decade and still going strong, the Hatuma Half Marathon is very much a highlight on the local sporting calendar.

From humble beginnings back in 1980, a group of running enthusiast friends got together and took on the challenge to create a running event here in Central Hawke’s Bay. Since then the event has continued to grow and has built up a reputation for being a well organised event to be shared with family & friends event in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The Hatuma Half Marathon starts and finishes at the Waipukurau Racecourse. This picturesque venue is able to accommodate ample off-street parking and has picnic areas and facilities.

For more information, click here


Upcoming Events



16th              Old Boys Memorial Race, clubrooms

17th (Sun)  Honest 10K, Whale Tail sculpture near Freyberg Pool

17th (Sun)  Hutt Marathon Events (Wellington Marathon Champs), Petone

School holidays – September 23- October 8th  

23rd            Club runs/walks, clubrooms

30th            New Zealand Road Relays, Christchurch



7th                 Prizegiving followed by afternoon tea TBC, clubrooms

14th               Bernie Potenski Memorial Handicap TBC, Titahi Bay

15th (Sun)   Honest 10K, Whale Tail sculpture near Freyberg Pool

15th (Sun)     Wairarapa Half Marathon, 14km & 7km, Masterton



19th (Sun)  Honest 10K, Whale Tail sculpture near Freyberg Pool



17th (Sun)  Honest 10K, Whale Tail sculpture near Freyberg Pool


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.