Our littlest juniors – waiting to start

Someone commented today that the Canterbury Champs was the last major cross country for the season.  How did that happen?  While all good things must come to an end, it’s almost time to use all that fantastic pace that has been nutured over the past few months, at the upcoming road races.

The day at Halswell Quarry started brisk but beautifully fine for the SRC volunteers who helped set up the course and start/finish areas from 9.30am.  We were Duty Club for the set-up phase of the day, so a big thank you to those who came along to lend a hand.  It was actually quite enlightening as to how much effort goes into putting on a race like a cross country – right down to ensuring the orange cones are in a perfectly straight line down the finishing chute (so we hope our runners took time to take in our workmanship as they crossed the line).

What was noticeable for the Club, were the number of new or relatively infrequent runners that we had competing.  Little Matthew Bolter was running in his second race, as was Vajin Armstrong;  Jane Guise was competing for the very first time for Sumner;  husband Grant made what I think was his first appearance this season;  also running for the first time was David Watt (who has been injured for most of the season);  and Hugh Abbiss, Ian Reeves and Josh Edmonds also ran in what were only their first or second outings this season.

Jane Guise in the SW race

Unfortunately on the flip side, while we had a good number of entries – 53 – we ended up with six non-starters, and two DNFs.  Injury and flu strike again.

By the time runners began turning up at around lunchtime, the day had become overcast, and there was a good chill in the breeze.

The day’s racing kicked off with our youngest juniors (Girls and Boys 10 and under), and progressed through the grades with the final event of the day being the Men’s race, held over 6km, 8km or 12km, depending on the grade.

The Sumner train – Tim, Grant, Hugh (obscured), Josh and Marty

It was very positive to hear so many of our runners being called over to the podium at the conclusion of each race.  Highlights were (in place order):

  • 1st – Bernie Calder (MM65)
  • 2nd – Millie Edmond (Girls 8 & under)
  • 2nd – Blake Theobald (Boys 8 & under)
  • 2nd – Emilio Kennedy (Boys 9)
  • 2nd – Abby Theobald (Girls 11)
  • 2nd – David Fitch (MM35)
  • 2nd – Marty Lukes (MM40)
  • 3rd – Beth Hunter (Girls 9)
  • 3rd – Ella Harris (Girls 14)
  • 3rd – Sarah Summerlee (Women 19)
  • 3rd – Annette Campbell (MW50)

Team Placings (very important!):

  • 1st – Senior Men (Vajin Armstrong, Tim Bolter, Grant Guise, Hugh Abbiss, Simon Wooding, Ian Reeves) (yes, we even took down University because we had the depth/numbers!)
  • 1st – Girls 11 (Abby Theobald, Meg Webley, Victoria Wells)
  • 2nd – Girls 14 (Ella Harris, Gabriella Kennedy)
  • 2nd – Boys 8 & under (Blake Theobald, Sam Clark, Matthew Bolter)
  • 2nd – Mens 16 (Josh Campbell, Tom Williams, Ed Cory-Wright)
  • 2nd – Masters Men 35-49 (David Fitch, Marty Lukes, Graham Harris, Kevin Sherratt)

There were also some personal disappointments, with below par efforts due to illness and injury meaning desired results or podium finishes were just out of reach.

Full results


Next stop, the Riverside Relay and Under 16 Road Relay Race next weekend (Saturday 28 July).  It’s time to hit the road!

The final word goes to The Backcountry Runner, following today’s race.  This goes for all our juniors also – racing is great for keeping sharp for all those team sports, school XCs, orienteering, triathlons…