Christchurch runner breaks three-hour marathon barrier

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MARATHONER Hannah Oldroyd was not just the first woman to finish the Ascot Park Hotel Southland Marathon last Sunday, she was the first.

First, as in first of everybody and the only runner to break the magic three-hour barrier. Hannah finished the 42km in 2 hours, 52 minutes and 43 seconds with Craig Iversen in second some 14min back. However, Iversen, of the Invercargill club, took the Southland championship as Oldroyd was Christchurch-based.

Oldroyd warmed up for Sunday’s marathon by running the 5km Invercargill park run the day before, holding back a bit, running almost 3min slower than her best park run time. Even so, it was a record for her age group.

A record 5km the day before a marathon win just shows how talented the 33-year-old is, adding the Southland crown to her Christchurch, Queenstown, Alpine and Buller wins to go with her third in Auckland and high placings at London and Berlin.

Last year’s winner Jerome Lagumbay came in third in 3:17.41, well ahead of his estimated 3:45 but well short of his winning time last year. “I haven’t done any training for this,” he said, but still managed to run a respectable time.

The associated Shoe Clinic half-marathon, also a Southland championship, was won by Fiordland’s Dwight Grieve (who came third overall), who basically treated it as a hard training run. Grieve was also first in the masters’ age category.

Fastest home in the half-marathon was Adam Clayton in a very smart 1:15.57 with well performed Canterbury runner Thijs Hubber second in 1:20.59. First woman was Sonya Cameron in 1:26.09 with 14-year-old Kimberley Iversen second in a superb 1:33.06. Iversen also took the Southland Half Marathon Championship women’s title.

Buddy Small won the 10km, going under distance ahead of the 21km at the Crater Rim trail run (in Christchurch) on Sunday with Jessica Campbell in third limbering up for the Crater Rim 53km ultra. James McLeay (14) was second in the 10km and Kennedy Taylor (15) third overall, and first woman.

Comments indicate the new course, from the Stead St wharf following the estuary along the picturesque Te Araroa walkway and including a circuit of the bird sanctuary lagoon, was met with approval from all runners.

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