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New Zealand Mountain Running Champs- Dougan Butler Race Report

Salomon Running Athlete Dougan Butler won his second Athletics New Zealand Mountain Running title in the weekend. The young gun of  NZ mountain running is in fine form after winning the Goat Kaimai last month. Below is his race report from the ANZ mountain running champs-

A small but quality fields across the board turned up for the Athletics New Zealand Mountain Running Champs held in Wainuiomata, Wellington.
ANZ mt champs 2013The men’s races started off fast with Jackson Harrie (An Australian rep. from last year’s World Champs) and Dougal Thorburn exchanging the lead for the first 3km as it wound uphill through a single track in the scrub, with myself tucked in behind. As we turned down the first fire break, about a third of the way through, Dougal showed his skill as a downhill runner, stretching out, and possibly gaining a slight lead on our Aussie competitor. As it turned to a sharp climb up a loose rocky outcrop, my Salomon S-Lab Sense shoes showed their value by gaining valuable seconds on this tough terrain. From there I tried to slowly increase my lead up “the hill from hell”, and then down the toughest part of the course, a very steep gravel firebreak on uneven terrain, and back up again. The true off road runners would have made some good gains on this technical section, and there was some great racing further back the field as well. From the top, it was pretty much all down hill on a 4wd track, then back to a nice single track to the finish, with myself crossing the line 1st in 52:51. The gutsy Aussie crossed second (54:50), just ahead of Dougal Thorburn, who got the silver medal for the ANZ Champs (as Jackson isn’t eligible being a non resident) in (54:56). Glenn Hughes, one of our best and most experienced mountain runners cross for the bronze in 56:43.

anz mt champs DB

Dougan on his way to his 2nd New Zealand mountain running title. Photo: Sharon Wray

The women’s race was very competitive with three representatives from last year’s World Mountain Running Champs in Italy racing. Marjolein Cook (the Netherlands, but hopefully running for New Zealand in the very near future!!!) crossed the line first in an impressive time of 44:35 for the 9km. Helen Rountree had a great run finishing first for the ANZ Champs title in 46:16. The legend Sally Gibbs crossed for silver in 46:48. Nicole Mitchell steping up to the seniors for the first time finished in third (50:31).

The junior races were also a pleasure to watch with the boys being quite tight. Allister Meffan won in 40:34, following in his family’s reputation of having great runners. Thomas Andersen was second in 41:23 with Tim Robertson third in 41:35 for the 9km.

Jessica Barnes won the junior girls 4km race in 27:46, with Monica Burnard getting the silver medal in 31:21.

Hopefully we will have some full teams going to the World Mountain Running Championships this year in Poland, having some great results over the weekend.

Marjolein Cook New Zealand Mountain Running Champs Race Report HERE

Full Results HERE

(BIG)Photo Galleys by Sharon Wray of 9km race HERE12km race HERE and Prize Giving HERE


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A Backcountry Running Community for New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra runners- We want this to be the place you come for all things trail running including race previews and reports, interviews with New Zealand runners and hopefully a whole lot more! Our aim is to provide as much original content- previews/reports/interviews on New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra races. We can't be everywhere- so feel free to get in touch if you have the scoop on a race or event.

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