New Zealand – Oceania and World Masters

A number of club members have just returned from Auckland, where we competed in the Oceania Regional Championships, followed by the World Masters Games.  It was two weeks of highly intense competition in urban Auckland, Rotorua, and the incredibly complicated sand dune terrain of Woodhill Forest – check out the maps on the Oceania and WMOC websites and you’ll see what I mean – most notable were the Oceania Middle Distance, the World Masters Sprint Qualifier, and any of the 3 World Masters Long Distance races, where the contour detail has to be seen to be believed.

We had a wonderful time and some great performances, including podium finishes by Asha and Lanita Steer at Oceania. Asha was third in the Sprint, and part of the winning Junior Elite Womens relay team, cleaning up the highly fancied NZ team and sealing selection for JWOC.  Lanita claimed her first Senior medal with third place in the W21E Relays – a brilliant effort by both.

Simon Rouse also had a great week in M40 (we will forgive him for competing under the Kiwi banner) – 5th in the Oceania Sprint, 4th in the Oceania Long, 5th in the Oceania Middle, 10th in the WMOC Sprint, and 17th in the Long!  Peter Dalwood, competing in the huge M70 age class, also had a fantastic week. He was 15th in the Oceania Sprint and the Middle Earth Sprint, then claimed a place in the WMOC Sprint A final, where he finished 23rd of 78.  Peter Hobbs claimed 5th in the Oceania Long in M35; while I was very happy with a 4th, and first Australian, in W55AS at the Oceania Long.  Simply surviving 11 tough races was an achievement!

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