| Posted by: NDuro Apr 4,2011
We hope that everyone enjoyed their day out regardless of the weather. You can read below a race report compled by Jim Robinson (one of the half marathon competitors). Thanks to Jim for preparing.
Ohope half marathon: “a good hit-out”
Helen Rountree and Kyle MacDonald had a successful form-tester on Sunday — soundly winning the Ohope half marathon.
Kyle MacDonald has his eyes on a sub 2 hr 30 min at the Rotorua marathon in a month’s time. So he was well pleased with a “good solid hit out” at the second Ohope Half Marathon, held on a two-lap course beside the Eastern Bay of Plenty Pacific coastline.
MacDonald’s been packing in the distance in preparation for Rotorua — which will be just his third marathon. He ran 160 km last week with no more than a one-day taper for Sunday.
Despite that, “I felt good throughout,” he reckoned.
He and his 27-year-old twin Iain had planned to share the pace at the front, each taking five-minute stints, to see what kind of a time they could score (Kyle’s PB is a low-69 mins).
But the plan came unstuck at the first U-turn at just over 5 km.
“I accelerated out of the turn — and got a gap. I didn’t mean to get away. I thought, ah well, I’ll keep going and see if he can get back,” the winner said.
No chance of that. Kyle kept opening the gap all the way to the finish near the end of the pretty Ohope spit, crossing the line in 1 hr 10 min 35 secs, to his brother’s 1 hr 13 min 43 sec.
Ben Ruthe, who has put running on the back burner for a while to focus on family and his new business, was third in 1 hr 17 min 16 sec.
Those times could in fact be a lot quicker than they look at first glance. According to GPS, it seems the course was likely about 600 m longer than the 21.1 km half marathon distance, which would account for at least 2 min of extra effort.
Although one wit in search of a faster time claimed 600 m was surely worth at least 10 minutes.
“I was actually quite surprised when I finished and saw the time. I thought it’d be quicker than that,” MacDonald admitted.
The weather conditions were OK for running but unfortunately dire for anything else. Ohope is a beach resort and nearby Whakatane is the reigning sunniest centre in the country, but the weather gods were having none of it on Sunday and it rained solidly for most of the day.
It wasn’t cold and there was no wind, so no worries when you’re going hard (apart from a couple of huge puddles to dodge). But the downpour was a shame for all the walkers and slower runners, who’d have had no more than a misty glimpse of Whale Island and the sweeping Ohope beach.
No big deal for the fast runners though. “I liked the course. I liked the flat nature. [With the two-lap format] I knew where everyone was. I’d definitely like to be back next year,” MacDonald said.
Certainly, when the right distance is confirmed, the Ohope race will be a cracking choice to get a quick time, and hone form for Rotorua. There are a few small rises of about 10 m each lap, but other than that, it’s pan flat, and pretty much straight.
A 67 or 68 min men’s winning time looks more than feasible.
Helen Rountree had a good race, confirming she’s back to a solid level of fitness after a frustrating spell with injury.
Rountree dashed off from the other women right from the start. She finished in 1 hr 24 min 16 sec, with Katy Dawson second (1 hr 34 min 14 sec) and Naomi Davoren (1 hr 37 min 20 sec) third.
Rountree’s now focusing on the Huntly half marathon in mid-May — the race that preempted her coming down with long-term foot problems (plantar fascia) in 2010. She had about six months without proper training and has only been running consistently since Christmas.
“I felt pretty good today — but the time was slow,” Rountree said. She’s looking to shave a good few minutes off at the Huntly half, where last year she came away with an impressive 1 hr 18 min.
The Ohope Half Marathon was supported by a 10 km. The women’s race was won by Fee Holdsworth (43 min 29 sec) with the men’s taken out by Darren Ashmore (38 min 41 sec).
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