Preview New Zealand Half Championship and Auckland Marathon
Preview New Zealand Half Marathon Championship and Auckland Marathon
Coach Chris Pilone will be keeping a close watch on the New Zealand half marathon championship in Auckland on Sunday with two of his athletes having every chance of taking out the titles.
Sub four minute miler Hayden McLaren will be having his debut over the 21.1km distance while Danielle Ingram-Trevis is the favourite for the women’s title.
McLaren says that he is looking for a strong performance.
“A win would be absolutely fantastic, I am hoping to be competitive upfront and I trust that that will place me highly. I hope that this will set me up for a great track season later in the year,” said McLaren.
Trevis won last year in 1h 13m 8s and was slightly slower in winning the Christchurch half marathon in June.
McLaren will be kept honest throughout by fellow competitors Alex Parlane, former New Zealand duathlon champion and Whangarei half marathon winner last month Brett Dawber, Stefan Smith third in Arthur’s half last year, twice national marathon champion Matt Dravitzki, Jonathan Jackson who was fourth at Huntly in May, the Dunedin half winner last month Oska Inkster-Baynes, Andrew Haigh sixth in Christchurch in June and Canadian mountain running representative James Richardson who was second in the Wellington half in June.
Likely podium placings in the women’s race are likely to come from the performances of Hamilton’s Helen Rountree who has been runner up at the last two Huntly half marathons, Kelly Parlane, Erin Montgomery, Dunedin half winner last month and fifth at Auckland last year Alexandra Williams and Australia’s Clare Geraghty who was sixth on the Gold Coast in July.
Leading runners in the Adidas Auckland marathon are Dale Warrander and in the women Lisa Robertson, Shireen Crumpton, Maria Bentley and Australia’s Kirsten Molloy.
Warrander has built up an impressive record in the annual event, winning last year in 2h 19m 22s as well as victories in 2006 and 2004. And when he wasn’t running the full marathon he took part in the half marathon winning on five occasions extending back to 1996.
The 2004 Athens Olympian said that he will be running to win and nothing else.
“My race plan for Auckland has changed slightly now that I have been selected to run for New Zealand in the Chiba Ekiden relay in Japan next month,” said Warrander.
The 38 year old fitness trainer is pleased with his training over the last 12 weeks.
“I train with a local squad on the Gold Coast which has taken me to the next level and lifted my motivation.
“I want to come out of this marathon with a quick recovery ready to perform well in Chiba,” he added.
The three times national marathon champion won the Christchurch half marathon in June in 1h 6m 14s.
Competition for Warrander will come from national 10km track and road champion Stephen Lett, Wellington’s Nicholas Browne 13th in the Melbourne marathon last October and the 2007 national half marathon champion, Glynn Hadley of Christchurch who was second in 2009, Johan Vanhoovels sixth last year, Gavin Stevens seventh last year, Steven O’Callaghan second in Rotorua in 2009 and Australia’s David Criniti who was eighth in the Gold Coast marathon in July.
Robertson, the national road champion, has directed all her training and racing in recent months to her debut over the marathon distance.
The 28 year old Jockey said that she comes into the race feeling strong and well satisfied with her run two weeks ago in the Sir Barry Curtis 10km where she finished second to Trevis.
“I ran consistently, that’s what works for me - I’m a one pace strength runner. I’m a bit nervous because it is my first time (at a marathon) but excited, it should be good,” said Robertson who won the Huntly half marathon in May.
Bentley is the current national half marathon champion with her victory in Huntly last year, Crumpton won the Auckland marathon last year in a course record of 2h 45m 51s and Molloy ran 2h 46m 32s for fifth place in July’s Gold Coast event.