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The 40th Leith Cross Country Relays, Sat 21 May 2022

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill, Dunedin

Caversham’s depth key in relay victory >> ODT Online Report Tuesday, 24 May 2022

This report will be updated during the week (last update was at 11:00am, Thursday 26 May 2022)

Despite the rather inclement weather, the 40th running of the Leith Cross Country Relays resulted in a magnificent afternoon of cross country racing in both the relays and the 3rd Ponydale Challenge.  Leith Senior Men’s No. 1 team turned the tables on the Hill City-University Senior Men’s team this year, unseating the defending champions in convincing fashion in the Senior Men’s race. The Caversham Senior Women’s team had to come from behind to snatch victory from defending champs Hill City-University.  A full report on all races including photos will be available here sometime on Sunday

Leith Senior Men snatch title from defending champs Hill City-University

The last race of the day, the Senior Men’s and Master Men’s 35+ gruelling 4 x 4km, was a thrilling affair.  Defending Senior Men’s champions Hill City-University, missing some of their stars, knew that they had a real threat to their title defending aspirations when Leith’s Janus Staufenberg laid down a marker with a second fastest time of 13 minutes 58 seconds for Race 4 on the first leg handing Leith’s Corey Lewis a lead of 61 seconds over chasing team Hill City-University at the start of the second leg. The resurgent Leith Senior Men’s No. 1 team of Staufenberg, Corey Lewis, Hamish McKinlay and Liam Chesney never released the shackles and although the Hill City-University team of Finn Molloy, Ben Conder, Joel Carman and Matthew Bolter attempted a comeback, it was to no avail.  Liam Chesney with fastest Race 4 time of 13 minutes 53 seconds on the last leg brought Leith home over three minutes clear to finish in 59 minutes 43 seconds. Hill City-University finished in 1 hour 2 minutes 58 seconds.  Caversham finished third in the Senior Men’s race in 1 hour 9 minutes 42 seconds.

Leith Masters Men win the MM35+ race in convincing fashion

The Leith MM1 team not only won this grade held in conjunction with the Senior Men’s teams in Race 4 over 4x 4km, they also finished third overall. Stacked with their stalwarts of previous years, the team of Danny Baillie (MM50), Neale McLanachan, Gallien Chanalet-Quercy and Andrew Lonie were unstoppable in their march to the title with last leg runner Lonie achieving a time of 16 minutes 5 seconds, just edging fellow team member Baillie (16 minutes 9 seconds) for fastest time honours in this grade. This team ran so well it finished third overall in Race 4 in 1 hour 6 minutes 23 seconds consigning the Caversham Senior Men’s team to fourth overall. Their main opposition in the MM35+ grade was the second placed Leith MM2 (1:11:52) and third placed Cavy Stallions (1:12:40) who had got off to a flyer from Aaron Eyles who had third fastest time of 16 minutes 10 seconds and had his team in second place by one second at the end of the first leg and with another magical run from the Cavy team’s second runner Jono Ryan (16:41) were actually leading by 10 seconds at the start of leg 3.

Caversham wins the Senior Women’s title

Running this year in Race 1 over 4 x 2km, the resurgent Caversham Senior Women beat a competitive field to prevail over the strong Hill City-University Senior Women’s No. 1 team.  It took a while to gain the ascendancy though, with star Hill City-University first leg runner Zara Geddes throwing down fastest time in the grade of 7 minutes 50 seconds to have everyone thinking this was going to be Hill City-University’s day.  Ariki’s star Women Under 18 runner, Catherine Lund was not far behind with a second fastest time of 7 minutes 57 seconds on leg 1. This left the Cavy team of Kristy Eyles (MW35+), Becky De La Harpe, Claire Anderton (MW35+) and Laura Bungard with plenty of catching up to do as they were lying in third place at the start of the second leg.  However, the overall depth of the Cavy team won the day with it gradually making inroads and eventually soaring into the lead on the last leg to win in 34 minutes 34 seconds to the 35 minutes 8 seconds of Hill City-University. Ariki Senior Women finished third in 36 minutes 15 seconds with Leith Senior Women N0.1 fourth in 37 minutes 17 seconds.

Ariki-Mixed – Green Team was overall winner of Race 1

Mike Horne pictured here running the first leg for Ariki-Mixed – Green Team (photo by Gisela Sole)

A strong Ariki Mixed – Green team of Mike Horne (MM40), Eddie Smith (MM40), Xaviour Walker (MM40) and Will Smith (MM35) prevailed over the large Race 1 field whilst also winning the Mixed Grade category. The Ariki mixed – White team of Grayson Westgate, Grayson Westgate, Russell Lund (MM50+) and Sue Hendry (MW50+) held the lead for 3 legs over the Arik Mixed- Green with Grayson Westgate running two superb legs, the first one was the second fastest time. However, Xaviour Walker on leg 3 and then Will Smith with third fastest time on the last leg brought the title home to the Ariki Mixed – Green team in 32 minutes  49 seconds. Third Team was  Taieri Mixed 1 in 37 minutes 31 seconds. Fastest time of 7 minutes 15 seconds in this grade and Race 1 overall was Nathan Shanks of the fifth placed Cavy Shetland Ponies

Ariki Master Men’s 50+ Team’s convincing win

The strong Ariki Master Men’s 50+ team of Phil Napper (9:22), Glen McSkimming (8:45 fastest time), Richard Hendry (9:31) and Brent Halley (9:09) was quality and consistency personified.  On the first leg they were given a bit of a scare with the Hill City-University runner, Richard Fogarty throwing down a time of 8:57 to give his team a lead of 24 seconds at the start of the second leg.  However, with star Ariki runner Glen McSkimming running an amazing 8.45 on the second leg, the Ariki team was back in front despite HCU’s Barry Purton’s very good 9:34 effort.  From there the Ariki team was never headed. The Leith MM50+ team had gradually made inroads into the HCU team’s lead on them and with a masterful run by Leith’s MM70+ runner Peter Ford (10:16) on the last leg,  surged into second place.  The Leith team, though consistent, could not match the quality of the star Ariki team which won convincingly in 36:47.  Leith finished second in 43:12.  With Hill City – University third in 44:26

Hill City – University Women’s 35+ wins

The Hill City – University Women’s 35+ team of Aly Craigie (9:02 fastest time), Georgy Pakeho (9:28), Kara Bryant (9:22) and Cilla Dickinson (10:59) was another team packed with talent. Although Leith’s first leg runner Anna O’Byrne with a fast 9:26 kept her team in the mix by the end of the first leg, with so much talent at it’s disposal, the Hill City -University team drew away from it’s opposition over the final three legs to record a comfortable win in 38:52.  Leith finished in 41:46

Caversham Master Men’s 60+ “Cavy Speckle Grays” unstoppable

The Cavy Speckle Grays were unstoppable.   The team of Ian McDonald (9:26), Neville Shanks (12:30), Alistair McAlevey (11:11) and Dave Sharp (9:07 fastest time) was involved in a bit of a see saw competition with the steady Leith team.  Firstly, Ian McDonald gave his team a fantastic start to leave replacement runner Neville Shanks with the job of maintaining a hold on the race.  However, the ever improving Peter Hughes of Leith put his team into a healthy lead of 45 seconds at the end of the second leg.  Speckle Gray’s Alistair McAlevey at into Leith lead leaving Leith last runner Marc Boullé at the start of the last leg with the job of holding out the Star Speckle Gray runner Dave Sharp who was just 30 seconds adrift.  Sharpie put in an amazing run on the last leg, soaring up the first hill to pass Marc Boullé and then soaring down all the downhills to give his team a win in 42:14 with fastest time of 9:07.  The Leith team finished in 43:15

Caversham Master Women’s 50+ “Cavy Appaloosa’s” take the title

The Cavy Appaloosa team of Sue Kim (11:52), Glenda Bruce (13:21), Gail Sharp (11:34) and Evelyn Armstrong (10:42) had to come from behind to beat the Leith MW50+ team.  Masterful running by Leith’s Debbie Telfer who ran fastest time of 10:17 in this race and Christine Montgomery (10:27 second fastest time) was unable to keep the consistent Cavy Appaloosas at bay.  The Cavy team surged into the lead on the last leg off the back of a steady run on the 3rd leg from Gail Sharp and a superb 10:42 from Evelyn Armstrong to win in 47:30.  Leith finished in 51:45


More race reports and plenty of photos to come during the week


The 3rd Ponydale Challenge, Sat 21 May 2022

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill, Dunedin

Photos will be posted here sometime on Sunday afternoon

Matthew Adams breaks Chris Taylor’s record

Battling the inclement elements, the tough cross country course, themselves and each other, the field for this third edition of the Ponydale Challenge stuck to the task.  Senior Men’s runner Matthew Adams broke Chris Taylor’s Ponydale Challenge Record running 16 Laps (=32km) in 2 hours 36 minutes 34 seconds (an almost identical time to that of Chris in 2021) and so winning the 3rd Ponydale Challenge.  Second was the first Master Men’s 35+ runner Shannon Rhodes who ran 14 laps in 2 hours 28 minutes 12 seconds.  Third was Croydon Paton of Fiordland Athletic Club who ran 13 laps in 2 hours 36 minutes 45 seconds, he was also the first Master Men’s 50+ athlete. Fourth and second placed Master Men’s 50+ runner was Eric Scharpf of Hill City-University who ran 11 laps in 2 hours 9 minutes 31 seconds.  Also running 11 laps and completing them in 2 hours 10 minutes 6 seconds and finishing fifth was Master Women’s 35+ runner Sarah Rhodes of Hill City-University. Master Men’s 50+ runner Pieter Burger finished sixth by running 5 laps in 1 hour 33 minutes 34 seconds.  The infamous ditch became harder and harder to negotiate as the legs got tired but these tough endurance athletes were inspirational in the way they went about tackling the tough course.  Well done to them all.

The 39th Leith Cross Country Relays, Sat 15 May 2021

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill

The weather played it’s part with cool conditions and a mostly sunny afternoon with light Southerly winds.

Hill City – University Senior Men make it four in a row

The Hill City-University’s Senior Men’s team took the Open Men’s race by the scruff of the neck by the end of the first 2-lap leg and never released the pressure on a determined chasing Leith Athletics Senior Men’s # 1 team over the 4 x 4km (2 x 2km laps) course.  Leith Athletics never gave up though and their last two leg runners were making inroads into the lead.  In the end, Hill City-University won by a margin of just 33 seconds from a fast finishing Leith Athletics team to record a time of 55 minutes 33 seconds.  Leith Athletics SM#1 recorded 56 minutes 6 seconds. Caversham Harriers Senior Men’s #1 team put on a brave show in finishing third in 1:00:07.  Hill City-University successfully defended their Open Men’s title having won it now for the fourth time in a row. This reminds one of the dominance the Caversham Senior Men’s team had a few years back winning it five times in succession between 2009 and 2013. Can Hill City-University defend this title to match this record in 2022? Looking at their current young crop emerging from the youth grades this could well be possible.

Hill City-University’s Russell Green was the fastest runner over the 4km scorching around the tough 2 lapper course in a blistering 13 minutes 29 seconds.  Leith Athletics Janus Staufenberg was next fastest in 13:39, then Leith Athletics Liam Chesney in 13:44 and Hill City-University’s Oliver O’Sullivan in 13:48 to complete a quality quartet of runners who broke the 14 minute barrier.  There was a quality contingent of youth runners spread across the senior men’s teams taking on the older established competitors.  George Hamilton (HCU SM2) running with his usual awesome great form had ninth fastest time of 14:33.  His close rival Josh Hou of the HCU SM team also ran with great style to finish 10th fastest in 14:48. Hamilton’s team mate, the up and coming talented Matthew Bolter had a fantastic run beating some of the big names and finishing with 17th fastest time of 15:12.  Bolter ran conservatively at first using the vastly experienced former Olympic and Commonwealth Games athlete Robbie Johnston as a guide as to how the first half of the 2-lapper should be run. This plan worked well as he passed a number of senior runners along the way.


Hill City-University and Ariki Senior Women teams take both titles on offer

The Open Women’s races were split into two separate optional events – Race 1 over the usual 4 x 2k Course and Race 4 over the 4 x 4km (2 x 2km) Course. The majority of the teams favoured the traditional relay of 4 x 2km as it has lots of historical significance having now been run 39 times over the last 41 years.

In Race 4 (two teams competing), Hill City-University SW #1 finished first in 1:12:51.  The determined Cavy SW team finished just over a minute behind in 1:13:57.  Hill City-University’s SW 1 runner Liliana Braun was the fastest senior women runner achieving an excellent time of 16:34 over the 4km 2-lapper.  Cavy SW runner Becky De La Harpe was next fastest in 17:18 and third fastest was fellow Cavy SW runner Kirsty Eyles in 17:35. 

In the traditional Open Women’s event held in Race 1 (six teams competing), the Ariki Senior Women #1 team won a thriller of a race by a margin of just three seconds in 36:20 from a resurgent Leith Athletics Senior Women’s # 1 team which finished in 36:23.  Hill City-University SW # 1 team finished third in 36:55.  Individual standout performances here were: Hill City-University SW 1 runner Zara Geddes who ran an outstanding 07:56 over the 2km leg recording fastest time; Leith SW 1 runner Sophie Hicks putting in an awesome effort in running the second fastest time of 08:00 to almost bring the Open Women’s title home for Leith on the last leg; Ariki SW team’s U18 runner Catherine Lund, the 2021 South Island Secondary Schools 3000m champion and Otago 2000m Steeplechase champion, who ran third fastest time of 08:01; Ariki SW MW35 runner Jennifer Walker who showed the youngsters how to do it by running an excellent 08:34 keeping a cool head and not folding to the pressure on the last leg wrought by the closing Sophie Hicks of Leith.  What a race, you could say it was right up there as race of the day!

Exciting young Cavy talent on display in the Men’s Under 18 grade

The Cavy Men’s Under 18 team of Matheson Colquhoun, Oliver Young, Ezekiel Stewart and Hadlee Edmunds displayed the burgeoning young talent coming through the ranks of Caversham Harriers.  Although this team did not have another MU 18 team to compete against, it could measure itself against the plethora of established quality runners in the other teams competing in all grades in the Race One category.  This quality young team took overall honours in Race One setting a blistering time of 32 minutes, a full 2 minutes and 8 seconds faster than the next best team.  Esekiel Stewart achieved fastest time overall in Race One of 7:08.  Second fastest in this team and fourth fastest in Race One was Oliver Young who ran his leg in 7:32.  Third fastest team member was Matheson Colquhoun in 7:59. Hadlee Edmunds, a quality sprint athlete better suited to the short sprints on the track, played his part in bringing his team home on the last leg to win overall honours.  We hope to source some photos of this team in action during the week.

The Cavy Mixed Youth team was very competitive in Race One

The Cavy Mixed Youth (U14) team of Emily-Rose Young, Leo Young, Henry Hodgson, and Henry Eyles competed well against some quality teams in Race One.  It finished in 40 minutes and 20 seconds and ended up an impressive 16th out of the 26 teams.  Its fastest runner was Henry Hodgson in 9:09 with Emily-Rose Young second fastest in 9:10. Henry Eyles was third fastest in 10:29.

Defending champions Leith Master Men’s 35 #1 takes the title for sixth time in a row

In one of the mostly keenly contested grades, run since 2018 with the Senior Men over the 4 x 4km course, the Leith team showed that it had the runners capable of mastering the tough Ponydales course.  The team of all-round talented track and road runner Nic Bathgate, the experienced quality runner Andrew Lonie,  the 2012 Marathon Champ Jason Palmer and the stylish Glen Chisholm, was never headed as it beat a Hill City-University team containing the likes of former Olympic and Commonwealth games athlete Robbie Johnson, the tough and uncompromising Tim Bolter, former top Otago runner Elliot O’Sullivan and quality Master Men’s 50 runner Stephen Bloomfield.  The Leith team won comfortably in the end in 1:00:49 defending its title and winning it 6 times in a row. The Hill City-University team was second in 1:06:18

Third was the Leith Master Men 35 #2 team of top MM50 runner Danny Baillie, Gallien Chanalet-Quercy, 2020 and 2021 Three Peaks Ultra 55km Champion Chris Bisley and Glenn Thompson.  Key performances here were: Nic Bathgate achieving fastest time of 14:57; Leith’s Glen Chisholm’s second fastest time of 15:00; Jason Palmer after a long layoff running third fastest time of 15:07.

Chris Taylor breaks The Ponydale Challenge record

Master Men’s 35 runner Chris Taylor of the Wednesday 6.15 Pub Runners set a new open record for this event in running 15 laps in a time of 2 hours 36 minutes 37 seconds. Senior Men’s runner Harjinder Sing Chander of Leith Athletics was second, running 14 laps and third was Senior Women’s runner Mandy Lowther who had a fantastic metronomic run and completed 13 laps.  In fact, each and every competitor was a winner in this long distance cross country challenge.  Everyone ran more than 10 laps which is an amazing accomplishment on this tough hilly cross country course. Steve Tripp 12 laps (including running his first lap for the Leith MM50 1 team), Tim Hodgson 11 laps and David W Liddell 11 laps, were not far off the pace of the leaders.  Well done to all and we hope to see you all there next year for another amazing event.  I am sure there were some out there imagining themselves attempting the Ponydale Challenge next year.

Cavy Master Women’s 35-49 team wins in style

A resurgent Cavy Master Women’s 35 team consisting this year of Donna Young, Claire Anderton, Michelle Watt and Jen Hodgson won this one comfortably in the end leading from the start to the finish.  The year 2009 was the last time Caversham had this title, so this was a magnificent achievement for a team that had always threatened to take the title many times in the interceding years.  The combined team time over the 8km was an excellent 38:51, over 3 minutes clear of the strong second placed Leith MW35 #1 team of Gaya Gnanalingam, Christine Montgomery (MW50), Siobhan McKinlay and Rach McKinney (MW50) which finished in 41:59.

Finishing third in 44.45 was the Ariki MW35 team consisting of some of the legends in Otago and NZ running, Sue Cuthbert (MW50), Julie Wilson (MW60), Dalise Sanderson (MW60) and Tracy Thomas.  Ariki threatened by the end of the first leg to challenge for second being 2 seconds in front of Leith, but Leith’s greater depth took it’s toll over the next 3 legs.  Cavy’s Jen Hodgson achieved fastest time of 09:26 in this race. Cavy’s Claire Anderton was second fastest in 09:35, just beating out by one second her team mate Donna Young who was third fastest in 09:36. There were some amazing performances from Leith’s Christine Montgomery and Gaya Gnanalingam who both ran again for the Leith MW35 #2 team.  Christine had times of 10:23 and 10:31 which was very consistent and Gaya was almost as consistent with times of 10:26 and 11:00.  If anyone has more photos of this race especially the winning team, we would love to have them for a photo collage. Email Marc Boullé

The Ariki Master Men’s 50 holds off a strong finishing Leith team

The Ariki team of multiple Otago track record holder Phil Napper (MM60), quality experienced master runner Russell Lund, former marathon winner John Thomson (MM70) and top Otago masters runner Alan Nicholls (MM60) and with three of their team over the age of 65 including one over 70, was always going to be a tough team to beat based on quality and experience.  And so it proved true.  This team of legends held off an equally strong team consisting of ultra running legend and Three Peaks Mountain Race director Steve Tripp, Simon Leaning, Phil Page and Don Bate by 52 seconds to win in an excellent time of 37:24.  Steve Tripp ran the first leg as part of the Ponydale Challenge, so kudos to him.  The third placed Cavy MM50+ team of super fast Dave Sharp, Richard Young, Steve Stewart and Tom Heath threatened to take the race away from the rest with Dave Sharp setting second fastest time in this grade race of  8:44 to have his team in front by 31 seconds at the end of the first leg.  It was a brave effort, but unfortunately the greater depth of the Ariki and Leith teams proved too much in the end.  Fastest time went to quality master runner Leith’s Phil Page who ran magnificently to finish the third leg in 8.30. Third fastest was Ariki’s Russell Lund in 8.46. Phil Napper was fastest of the MM60+ runners here in 9.15 with Alan Nichols not far behind in 9.22. Well, what more can one say about over 70 runner John Thomson’s 10.01 – what an excellent run from a quality runner, he just doesn’t seem to slow down.  The one man team of Eric Scharpf put in an excellent effort and was competitive finishing just 22 seconds adrift of the third placed Cavy team. Eric Scharpf also ran as a one man team in the Social/Mixed grade  in 2019, finishing 7th out of 13 teams. We did not get many photos of the runners in this race, so if anyone has any we would love to have them to put a photo collage here.  Email Marc Boullé

The Ariki Social team wins the social and mixed grades race

The Ariki Social team of Grayson Westgate (U18), Xaviour Walker (MM35), Xaviour Walker (MM35), Tim Dobier (MM35) had a convincing win in which it lead from the start finishing in 34:08. Xaviour Walker had to run both the 2nd and 3rd legs for his team with impressive times of 8:01 and 7:59 for each leg. Second was the Taieri Mixed team of Georgia McCutcheon (YW), Graham Murphie (MM50), Josh Siloy (BU14) and Amanda Waldron (MW35) in 37:55.  Not far back in third was the Cavy Social Black team of Gracie Young, Becs Webster, Alex Brown and Oliver Lodge in 38:12.  Fastest runner in this race was Loan Fuller (SM) of the fifth placed Cavy Mixed team setting a blistering time of 7:09. He was the second fastest across all the athletes in the entire Race One. Next fastest in this race was Grayson Westgate (U18) of the winning Ariki Social team in 7:27. Third fastest was Oliver Lodge of the third placed Cavy Social Black team in 7:51.

The Cavy and Leith Masters Men’s 60 teams “Duel on the Dales”

The Leith Master Men’s 60+ team consisting of Marc Boullé, Dave McLean, Marc Boullé, Dave McLean achieved a somewhat surprise victory over a typically strong Cavy team.  Decimated by injury and illness the Leith team was left with just two men standing, albeit two men fit and ready to rumble. Ultra athlete Dave McLean who is normally accustomed to tackling trail ultras and was second in the MM60 grade 2021 Three Peaks 55km definitely felt this course suited him. With Boullé providing able backup, the die was cast.  The Cavy team consisting of Ken Fahey, Neville Shanks, Ken Pullar and Alistair McAlevey looked unbeatable with star runner in this age grade Alistair McAlevey running the last leg set to take the spoils. In the end the two teams were evenly matched.  Leith gained a progressively larger lead, helped by the fastest time effort of Dave McLean of 11:11 on the 2nd leg, until the start of the last leg and thankfully Dave McLean did not know how far the Cavy team was behind him as he started off on the last leg.  Alistair McAlevey put in an impressive effort at catching a tiring McLean which earned McAlevey the second fastest time in this race of 11:14. Boullé ended with 3rd fastest time of 11:20 and Leith held off Cavy by just 60 seconds to finish in 45:54.  As can be seen in the photo collage above, Marc and Dave’s unusual enormously long arms probably hampered them a bit in the tight turns, but were useful in enabling them to pull themselves up some of the hills by grasping tufts of grass to take the load off their normal propulsion muscles 🙂 

Primary/Intermediate School, Boys and Girls 7+ Mixed (4 x 650 metres)

This race was keenly contested with the kids have a lot of fun out there on the paddocks. Seven teams competed overall with the Ariki Mixed Kids team of Kotomiyo Cowell, Lola Saunders, Caleb Dobier and Kotomiyo Cowell winning narrowly by just 24 seconds from the Leith Intermediate team of Tim Niblock, Ashton MacNee, Angus Graham and Zac Baillie. Just 55 seconds back from the Leith team in third place was the Hill City-University Primary Blue team of Jackson Phillips, Maddi Phillips, Violet Pakeho and Archie Rhodes. Everyone was a winner in this event and it was good to see the kids running out there on the paddock enjoying themselves.

Thank you to all involved in organising this event

We thank all those involved in organising this great event in pre-race organisation, course setup, timekeeping, results, refreshments, marshalling, public announcements, photographs, website and all other crucial tasks.  Well done!

Leith Cross Country Relays, May 2020

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill 

This event did not take place due to the Covid-19 Alert Level restrictions

The 38th Leith Cross Country Relays, 18 May 2019

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill 

Full Results >> Leith Cross Country Relays Results


Hill City University dominates the Open Grades

report by Marc Boullé 

Hill City University Open Mens No. 1 team won the Open Men’s 4 x 4km Leith Cross Country Relays on Saturday. The team of Matthew Sutcliffe (2nd fastest time 14:10.4), Kirk Madgwick, Joel Carmen and Russell Green (fastest time 14:09.7) put in a superb team effort to hold out the Leith Open Men’s No. 1 team by just under a minute in 57:38.8. The Leith team of Nathan Cochrane, Nathan Hill, Liam Chesney and Janus Stauffenberg put in a brave effort to finish second in 58:38.6. The Leith Open Men’s No.2 team finished third. Ollie O’Sullivan finished with third fastest time of 14:17.4 in the fourth placed Hill City University Open Men’s No. 2 team.

The Hill City University Open Women’s team of Rebekah Greene (fastest SW 8:14.6), Taryn McLean (fastest MW35 09:07.7), Laura Bungard (fastest HSG 08:33.6) and Kirsty O’Sullivan achieved a comfortable win in the Open Women’s 4 x 2km race in 25:55.9. The Caversham Pumas team of Heather Evans MW35, Lehana Reeves, Becky de la Harpe HSG and Heather Evans put in an excellent effort to finish second in 37:50.5. The Leith Open Women’s team of Sophie Smith, Gaya Gnanalingham, Erin O’Brien and Claudia Sole finished third in 40:57.6

Leith’s Masters Men’s 35-49 team of Danny Baillie (fastest MM35 15:41.2), Andrew Lonie (third fastest MM35 15:51.8), Neale McLanachan and Glen Chisholm (second fastest MM35 15:41.8) had a runaway victory in the Master Men’s 35-49 grade 4 x 4km relay in an impressive time of 1:03:43.4. The Ariki team of Aaron Porter, Mike Horne, Eddie Smith and Brent Halley MM50 put in a brave effort finishing a clear second in 1:10:51.0. The Leith No. 2 team finished third in 1:15:35.8

Hill City Uni Masters Women 35-49 team of Georgie Pakeho MW35, Cilla Dickinson (2nd fastest MW50 10:45), Sarah Rhodes MW35 Aly Craigie (second fastest MW35 09:59) won the MW 35 grade 4 x 2km relay comfortably in 41:19.3. Caversham Cougars were second in 48:37.3 while Leith finished third in 48:45.2 where Leith Masters Women 60+ runner Jocelyn Springthorpe was second fastest MW60 runner in 14:56.4

The Ariki High School Boys team of Ben Lund (2nd fastest HSB 7:44.8), Nathan Harrison (fastest HSB 7:41.1), Grayson Westgate (third fastest HSB 07:58.7) and Thomas McCracken put in a great team effort to win their 4 x 2km relay in 31:53.3. Both the Hill City Uni High School Boys teams finished second and third respectively.

The Leith High School Girls team of Caitlin O’Donnell, Viviane Dalphin (3rd fastest HSG 08:48.3), Rebecca Dalphin and Rebecca Hill held out the Hill City Uni HSG (2nd) and the Ariki HSG (3rd) teams to finish first in the 4 x 2km relay in 38:02.6. Ariki’s Catherine Lund finished with second fastest HSG time of 8:42.9

The Hill City University Intermediate School Boys team of Magnus Pakeho, Lachlan Crumpton (fastest time 09:52.1), Alex Walker and Archie Rhodes finished their 4 x 2km relay race in 44:45.8. The Hill City University Intermediate School Girls team of Lila Rhodes, Heidi Parker, Alice Hancox and Anya Rhodes (fastest time 09:02.4) finished the 4 x 2km relay in 44:47.6

The Ariki Masters 60+ team of Phil Napper (2nd fastest MM60+ 09:22.2). Dalise Sanderson (fastest MW60+ 11:59.2), Gene Sanderson and Alan Nicholls (3rd fastest MM60+ 09:40.1) had a great team run finishing first in the 4 x 2km relay in 41:38.3. Caversham Tigers team of Alistair McAlevey, Stu McCormack, Ian McDonald and Ken Fahey showed what a committed team effort can do by finishin second in 44:34.1. Caversham Jaguars showed the depth Caversham have in this grade by finishing third in 48:36.5. The Leith MM60+ team finished fourth with the Barefoot Mountain Goat and Leith Club President Chris Sole taking out fastest MM60+ time of 9:02.1

The Ariki Green Primary Schools team of Kotomiyo Cowell (fastest time 2:56.7), Maddix Adamson, Riley Horne (3rd fastest time 3:03.6) and Riley Horne won the 4 x 650m relay in 12:37.8. Second was Leith Blue team of Alexander Bork, Roman Meijerink, Tim Niblock and Zac Baillie in 13:15.1. Third was Leith Green team of Georgie Winneke, Lewis Marr, Frankie McKinlay and Archie Mckinlay in 13:22.1. Jesse Willis of the Leith Black team which finished 6th had the second fastest time of 3:02.5

The social 4 x 2km relay race was as always a keenly contested affair with a couple of teams having only one runner running all four laps. It was also great to see the triathletes representing the Dunedin Tri Club out there having a go. The St Pauls Turkeys team of Buddy Small, Buddy Small, Sam McDonald and Lachie Baird won this race in 31:23.3. The Tim Bolter Hill City Uni MM team with Bolter running all four laps finished second in 32:24.0 which was a magnificent effort. The Hill City University MM team of Richard Fogarty (third fastest MM50 8:56.6), Phil Morris MM60, Mike Wakelin MM and Stephen Bloomfield (fastest MM50 08:41.3) finished third in 36:08.2. Russel Lund running for the Ariki Green team (6th) was second fastest MM50 runner in 8:42.2 while Sue Cuthbert running for the same team was fastest MW50 runner in 10:25.9. Karin Drummond running for the ninth place Athletics Taieri team was the third fastest MW50 runner in 10:45.8. Barbara Patrick running for the 13th placed Hill City Uni team was the second fastest MW60+ athlete finishing in 12:57.7. Another highlight was Hill City Uni’s Eric Sharpf running all four laps in 40:46.5.

Ponydale Challenge

There were two runners doing the Ponydale Challenge which was run for the first time this year at short notice with runners starting with the first race at 12.45pm and continuing to do as many laps as they choose until the end of the day’s events, so hopefully we will see others take up this challenge next year. Harjinder Chander of Leith ran 12 x 2km laps completing 24km over a tough cross country course whilst Andrew Glennie of Caversham completed 9 laps for a distance of 18km. Well done guys and it was great to see you out there doing your ultra distance training as part of the Ponydale Challenge.

Thanks and a hearty well done to all those involved in this event: the participants, supporters, helpers and organisers. Every year we endeavour to make this event better than the year before and if there are any improvements that we can make, please let us know! We wish all the athletes all the best for the rest of the season which has some exciting events lined up.

The 37th Leith Cross Country Relays, Sat 19 May 2018

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill, Dunedin

Full Results >> Leith Cross Country Relays Results

Hill City-University take both Open titles

The Hill City- University Open Men’s Team 0f Alistair Richardson, Kirk Madgwick, Drew Cairney and Matthew Ogle won the main 3km (approx) event, with Leith One placing second and Caversham One placing third.

The Hill City-Uni 4 team of Rebecca Allnutt, Aly Craigie, Bella Bloomfield and Lorna Pairman won the Open Women’s 2km (approx) event from Caversham 2nd and Leith third.

The Leith teams do well

report by Marc Boullé

It was a very successful day for Leith teams at the club organised cross country relays held at the Dunedin Pony Club grounds on Three Mile Hill Road. Of the eight teams entered seven were placed in a top three placing.

The first race was the combined master’s men and high school boy’s race. Glen Chisholm, celebrating his 35th birthday, completed his first master’s event in style by scorching around the course in 7 mins 25 secs, the fastest time recorded for the day, handing over to Andrew Lonie with a 25 second lead over the second placed team. Lonie (7min 40secs) and the other two team members, Nolan Hill (8min 21 secs) and Danny Baillie (7min 44 secs) extended the lead, with the team finishing with a time of 31 mins 10 secs, two minutes ten seconds ahead of the second placed team. The Master’s Men 35 number two team consisting of Luke McKinlay (8mins 16secs), Mark O’Neill (9mins 17 secs), Alan Funnell (8mins 53secs) and Glen Chisholm (7mins 39secs) combined well to finish in 3rd place overall. Lonie and Baillie also featured in the fastest time honours with 2nd and 3rd fastest times respectively. The Leith master’s men 50+ team of Chris Sole (8mins 57secs), Ray Knox (9mins 18secs), Tom McKinlay (8mins 49secs) and Steve Tripp (8mins 51 secs) all ran well to finish in first place in the Masters Men 50+ grade. Fastest time in this grade went to John Bayne who ran 8min 9 secs when completing the first leg for the Pubrunners team.

The second race featured all of the women’s grades as well as the social/mixed grade teams with 19 teams in total facing the starter. Once again the Leith teams were to the fore in their respective grades. A great first lap by Rebekah Hill (8 min 37 secs – 2nd fastest high school girl) saw the High School Girls team in third place over all of the women’s teams at the end of lap one. Steady runs by Caitlin O’Donnell (9min 38 secs) and Rebecca Dalphin (9mins 25 secs) over the next two laps saw the team consolidate their lead in the high school girl’s grade. Last runner for the team, Cecelia Crooks had a storming run over the last lap, completing the lap in 8mins 16 secs, and in doing so recording the fastest women’s time overall and bringing the team home in 1st place in the high school girl’s grade, and second fastest women’s team overall, just two secs behind the winning women’s team. The senior women’s team of Sophie Smith (8mins 58secs), Gabi Newman (9mins 2secs), Olivia Gold (8mins 59secs) and Christine Montgomery (9mins 51secs), ran steadily to finish in third place in their grade. Christine Montgomery recorded the fastest Masters Women 50+ lap time.

Meanwhile in the social/mixed grade the Leith team also performed with considerable credit. Young first leg runner, Viviane Dalphin (9min 5secs), ran a great first lap to be in third place at the changeover. Christian Schmied (8mins 38secs), Peter Hughes (10mins 9secs) and Robyn O’Neill (14mins 3 secs), all ran well, with the team finishing up in third place in the social/mixed grade once all runners had completed their laps.

The final race of the day was the Open Men’s race and just like at the Lovelock Relays two weeks earlier, the Leith number one team was leading at the first changeover thanks to the brilliant run by Nathan Hill, who completed the lap in a time of 9mins 35 secs, the fastest lap time overall for the day on the longer course. He was ably backed up by Hamish McKinlay (10min 20secs), Louis Freeman (10mins 36secs) and Jamie Gardner (10mins 11 secs), with the team finishing in a notable second place, just over a minute behind the first placed team and over a minute in front of the third placed team. The second men’s team consisting of Bradley Goodall (10mins 55 secs), Glenn Thompson (12mins 19secs), Harjinder Chander (11mins 29secs) and Cliff Kelway-Pope (14mins 30 secs) had a great tussle with four other teams throughout the race with the lead changing several times over the laps. The team eventually finished in 7th place.

As a club we can feel proud of all of our teams and individual runners’ achievements. For the record, the club won three grades, finished second in one grade and third in three grades. Individuals recorded the fastest times in four grades, including the fastest men’s, and women’s time overall. We can also be very proud of the way the club conducted the event. For many of the runners, the Leith Cross Country Relays is their favourite event on the Athletics Otago running calendar. A special thank you goes to Laurie Hill and Bryce Watt for helping with the time-keeping and results on the day and the Dunedin Pony Club for allowing the event to be held on their grounds. Many thanks to all those who helped out to make the event happen, whether it be setting out the course on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, doing the event administration, running for a team, marshalling out on the course during the races, being an official at the finish line, bringing food for the afternoon tea, helping serve the afternoon tea or bringing in all of the gear at the end of the day, it is a culmination of everyone working together that makes the event such a successful day for the club and for the Athletics Otago running community. Well done everyone, another very successful Leith Cross Country Relays event has been completed. It was great that the weather played its part as well!

The Leith Cross Country Relays, Saturday, 20 May 2017

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill 

This event did not take place.  See report below for reason

Popular relays off due to double booking

ODT Online News Article Tuesday, 16 May 2017
By Wayne Parsons

The double booking of the Dunedin Pony Club Grounds on Three Mile Hill has led to the cancellation of this year’s Leith cross-country relays, affectionately called the Ponydales.
They had been scheduled for Saturday.

The popular interclub event has been a feature of the local harrier season for about the past 40 years and has been held at the pony club grounds for the past decade.

That followed several years at Wesleydale, from which the term Ponydale was derived.

The forced cancellation of this year’s event was not taken lightly with several course options looked at but one could not be put in place at late notice.

”These days, with health and safety regulations, we need to have a lot more than just a course to consider and use for the event,” race director Alan Funnell said.

”There is are a lot of factors to consider and things put in place behind the scene that a lot of people don’t realise.

”We also have to take into consideration other sports using grounds in and around Dunedin on Saturday.

”It’s a health and safety nightmare when it comes to changing a course for an event such as this.”

The Hill City-University Club, which dominated the senior events at the recent Lovelock Relays, was favoured to retain the senior men’s and women’s titles they won last year.

A mass club run has been organised instead, to take place from the Hill City-University clubrooms on Logan Park at 1.45pm.

The 36th Leith Cross Country Relays, Saturday, 28 May 2016

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill

Full Results >> Leith Cross Country Relays Results 

Ponydales 2016 Full Centre Club’s Report  by Marc Boulle

Open Men (4 x 3000m approx)
Hill City University won the Open Men’s relay race on Saturday by just over two minutes from its nearest rival.  Running in cold rainy conditions, the team of Kirk Madgewick, Jared Monk, Oli Chignell and Sam Bremer led from start to finish to defeat the defending champions Caversham Harriers whose number one team put up a brave effort in finishing second.  In a four member team relay format, any team that ends with three of the fastest runner’s times would be hard to beat.   With Madgewick leading the way for Hill City University with second fastest time of 9mins 24secs, the team was never headed.  With the ever improving Bremer achieving fastest time of 9mins 16secs on the last lap on this difficult course and Chignell with his second fastest time of 9min 18secs, this team was magnificent on the day finishing in 37mins 32secs.  Although outclassed this year, Caversham never gave up trying to defend it’s title and finished in 39mins 45secs.  Not far behind in third place was Caversham’s No. 2 team in 40mins 10secs.

Open Women (4 x 2000m approx)
Hill City University also won the Open Women’s title.  The team of Jean Kozyniak, Bella Bloomfield, Shireen Crumpton and Sabrina Grogan led from start to finish to beat the Hill City University number two team by just under two minutes.  Kozyniak’s excellent run on the first lap where she ran in incredible fastest grade time of 7mins 52secs, ensured that the Hi l City University No. 1 team were in pole position from the end of the first lap.  In the end it was a competition between the No. 1 and No. 2  Hill City University teams.  Mary Gray who ran the first lap for the No. 2 team was second fastest with 8mins 29secs.  The No. 1 team’s last runner Grogan finished with third fastest time of 8mins 54secs to bring the team home in 35mins 23secs.  The Hill City University No. 2 team finished in 37mins 15secs.   The Caversham Harriers team finished third in 43mins 18secs.

Men’s Under 18 (4 x 2000m approx)
The Taieri Men’s U18 team of Sam Gouverneur, Jacob Granger, Cameron Miller and Liam Turner fended off a strong challenge from the Ariki youth team to win its grade.  Although Taieri stayed in front from the first lap with Gouverneur (2nd fastest 7:53) and Cranger (3rd fastest 7:55) showing that their team was determined to take the title, Ariki’s Ben Lund with fastest time of 7mins 52secs threatened to bring Ariki into serious contention by the end of the second lap.  There were strong runs from Taieri’s Miller and Turner, and despite Ariki’s Parson’s fast finishing effort of 8mins 7secs, it was not enough to threaten Taieri, which finished in 32mins 48secs.  Ariki were under a minute behind in 33mins 29 seconds.  Third team was Hill City University in 35mins 56secs.

Womens’ Under 18 (4 x 2000m approx)
The Leith High School Girls put in a fine team performance to win this grade in 37mins 35secs. Caitlyn O’Donnell (fastest time of 9mins 12 seconds), Lucy Matahere, Rebecca Dalphin and Rebecca Hill showed that Leith have some promising runners ready to step up from the youth ranks. The Caversham High School Girls finished second.

Master’s Men 35 (4 x 2000m approx)
Master’s Men 35 (4 x 2000m approx) In arguably the toughest and most competitive grade of them all, the Leith No. 1 team of Neale McLanachan (third fastest 7mins 34secs), Alan Funnell, Nolan Hill, and Rob Creasy (second fastest 7mins 33secs) kept its lead from the first lap onwards, despite a tremendous run from Hill City University’s Mike Wakelin on the last lap where his fastest grade time of 7mins 24secs was not enough to threaten Leith. Creasy kept his nerve to bring the title home to Leith by just 17 seconds from Hill City University in 31mins 22secs. The Civil Service Masters team never threatened the top two, but still put in a fine team effort to finish third in 35mins 58secs.

Master’s Women 35 (4 x 2000 approx)
The Caversham team of Liza Bezett, Heather Evans, Kerry Rowley and Donna Young was a comfortable winner in this grade. Bezett led the way with the grade’s fastest time of 9mins 2secs. With Evans (third fastest in 9mins 31secs) and final runner Young (second fastest in 9mins 6secs) this team was always going to be hard to beat finishing in 37mins 37secs. And so it proved for it was never headed although Leith stoically fought off the threat from the eventual third placed Caversham No. 2 team with excellent runs from Christine Montgomery (9:38) and Siobhan McKinlay (fourth fastest time of 9mins 32secs) to finish in 45mins 39secs. The Caversham No. 2 team were not far behind in 46mins 50secs.

Master Men’s 50 (4 x 2000m approx)
The Caversham No. 1 team of Peter Fitzgerald, Geoff Anderson, Osvaldo Gonzalez and David Sharp was never headed after Fitzgerald’s blistering run on lap one where he ran the fastest grade time of 7mins 52secs.  The two closest chasing teams of Ariki and Leith could not make up on that opening lap.  Leith’s Chris Sole achieved fourth fastest time of 8mins 21secs to put Leith into second position by the end of the second lap, this set up a ding dong battle for silver.  However, Ariki eventually gained the initiative over the final two laps to emerge as the top team threatening Caversham’s lead.  With Anderson’s second fastest time of 8mins 10secs on the second lap and Sharp’s final lap fifth fastest time of 8mins 25secs, the Caversham Over 50s No. 1 team was hard to beat, finishing in an excellent time of 33mins 43secs over two minutes ahead of its nearest rival Ariki.  Ariki’s Alan Nicholls’s time of 8mins 53secs and Russell Lund’s third fastest time of 8mins 18secs enabled Ariki to overhaul Leith to take a well earned second place in 35mins 48secs.  Leith finished not far behind Ariki in 36mins 14secs.

Social Grade (4 x 2000m approx)
Although there were fewer teams contesting this popular grade this year, there were still some keen contests for podium honours. Leith’s Social team of Hamish McKinlay, Cliff Kelway-Pope, Pete Hughes and Alan Funnell dominated this grade from start to finish. Young McKinlay’s fastest time of 8mins 19secs set up the Leith team for a grab at the title.  The other team members did not disappoint either, with final lap runner Alan Funnell running third fastest time of 9mins 7secs to bring Leith home in 38mins 56secs.  The second placed team Hill City University battled gamely with its final runner Matt Bixley achieving second fastest time of 9min 6secs to bring his team back into second place after a concerted effort by the Civil Service runners which had them lying second at one stage.  Hill City University ended up with a time of 41mins 25secs.   The Civil Service Harriers team finished third in 42mins 18secs.

Children’s U13 (4 x 400m approx)
The Ariki Girls U13 won this keenly contested grade in 12mins 20secs. Second was the Caversham Harriers U13 mixed team in 12min 39secs. Third was the Hill City University Girls U13 in 13mins 53secs.

Ponydales Leith Harriers teams’ Report by Louisa Andrew

It was  a soggy wet, cold day for Ponydales this year, but despite that plenty of hardy runners fronted up to race. Leith had good results across the board so it was a successful day for us. First up the MM35 1 team of Neale McLanachan, Alan Funnell, Nolan Hill and Rob Creasy took out the Masters Men race from Hill City, and it was nice to reverse the positions from the Lovelock Relays. Neale and Rob had the 2nd and 3rd fastest laps. The MM 35 2 team of Mark O’Donnell, Michael Walker, Luke McKinlay and Stu Hodges were 4th in the grade, out of a total 9 teams. Leith MM 50 Dave McLean, Chris Sole, Ray Knox and Steve Tripp were 3rd in their grade….Chris was the happiest runner we saw all day, sprinting up the first hill with barefeet and a big, wide smile! Leith Youth Women also cruised to a win easily, by almost 10 minutes! Caitlyn O’Donnell, Lucy Matahare, Rebecca Dalphin and Rebecca Hill put in a tremendous team effort, and the girls finished 3rd overall beating all the Masters Women teams and 2 Senior Women teams. Caitlyn and Rebecca H also gained 2nd and 3rd fastest laps in their age group. Leith Social 1 also won.  Hamish Mckinlay ran a great race to start, with Cliff Kelway-Pope, Pete Hughes and Alan Funnell all turning in solid runs to seal the win by 2 1/2 minutes. Hamish got fastest lap, and Alan picked up 3rd fastest. Leith Masters Women also ran this race and were 2nd behind Caversham. The team was Christine Montgomery, Siobhan McKinlay, Megan Balchin and Susan Craig, all had good runs and it’s great to see Megan back running again. Leith had 2 Senior Men teams this year which is great to see. In a tough grade  Leith 1 Jason Palmer, Jamie Gardner, Nathan Hill and Rob Creasy (running again) finished a creditable 5th  and Leith 2 Glen Chisolm, Isaac Tripp, Glenn Thompson and Mark O’Neill finished 8th. Glen Chisolm had the fastest lap out of the Leith SM.

The 35th Leith Cross Country Relays, Saturday, 23 May 2015

Dunedin Pony Club, 3 Mile Hill

Full Results >> Leith Cross Country Relays Results 

A big thank you to all those who took part in this popular cross country event and with the snow holding off for a day or so the weather also played its part in making this a thoroughly enjoyable day out for contestants, spectators and officials. The biggest thanks should go to the officials and course constructors, time keepers and office staff who worked tirelessly before, during and after the event. We hope to make this event even bigger next year in terms of contesting teams.

Race Report

by Marc Boullé

Open Men’s Race:
The Caversham team of Lorenz Kissling, Jonah Smith, Jake Jackson-Grammer and Josh Baan won the Open Men’s title in convincing fashion in cold but ideal conditions. The Hill City University team of Tom Spencer, Jared Monk, Aaron Lynch and Cameron McNoe initially held the lead over the Caversham team, but eventually the strength in depth of the Cavvy Boys took its toll with a runway victory for the Caversham outfit. The Leith team of Jason Palmer, Steve Morrison, Neale McLanachan and Rob Creasy surprised everyone by overhauling the Hill City – University team on the final lap to finish second.

Open Women’s Race:
Also winning its grade in convincing fashion, the Hill City – University team of Susannah Lynch, Sabrina Grogan, Bella Bloomfield and Jessie Murphy ran well to finish ahead of the Hill City University second team of Charlotte Homan, Louise Darwin, Rose Stamm and Mary Grayand. The Ariki team of Katie Higham, Sarah Chisnall, Kirsty Little and Erin O’Brien finished third.

Youth Men’s Race
The most exciting race for both runner calibre and well matched teams was the Men’s Youth race. The Hill City – University team of Matt Ogle, Lochie Chittock, Jonny O’Neill and Sam O’Kane battled it out with the Caversham team of Andrew Smith, Jayden Toomey, Pat Flanaghan and Ben Rowley. Hill City University prevailed as winners by just seven seconds. The Ariki Youth Men team of Ruadhri Brosnan, Ben Lund, Fraser Reid and Nathan Harrison finished third.

Master Men’s Race
The Leith Master Men’s won its race after a hectic battle with the strong Hill City – University team consisting of Mike Wakelin, Stephen Bloomfield, Dwayne Sheddan and Romain Mirosa. The Leith team of Glen Ferguson, Mark O’Donnell, Andrew Lonie ansd Neale McLanachan eventually prevailed by just over a minute to win the title. The Leith team of Chris Sole, Ray Knox, Steve Tripp and Nolan Hill battled gamely to finish third.

Master Women’s Race

The strong Leith Master Women’s team dominated its race from the word go. The team of Louisa Andrew, Siobhan McKinlay, Christine Montgomery and Mel Aitken prevailed over a game Caversham team of Donna Rutherford, Jilly O’Brien, Kerry Rowley and Esther Sibbald. Finishing third was the Hill City University team of Nicola Ferro, Myrtle Rough, Merrilee Williams and Sarah Saunderson-Warner.

Master Men 50 race

Strong favourites Ariki proved too strong for the opposition. Leading from start to finish, the team of Russell Lund, Russell Hurring, Gene Sanderson and Brent Halley showed its class by achieving a win over the Hill City University team of Phil Bremer, Richard Fogarty, Eric Scharpf and Paul O’Neill by just over a minute. The Caversham team of Ian McDonald, Stu McCormack, Richard Rutherford and Peter Fitzgerald finished third.

Social Race

The Taieri Social No. 1 team of Graham Murphie, Mike Dooley, Amelia Jenkins and Bruce Jenkins prevailed to win this popular and keenly contested grade from the Leith Social No.1 team of Cliff Kelway-Pope, Marc Boulle, Michael Walker and Stu Hodges. The Caversham Social 1 team of Audrey Phelan, Neville Scott, Callum Tommey and William Leary finished third.

Children’s Relay

The Hill City – University Bu13a team of Josh Hou, Campbell Neilson, Alex Warlow and William Scharpf won the race with the Caversham Team 1 of Oliver Young, Katie Wong, Caitlin O’Brien and Jordan Evans-Tobata finishing second.  Third was the Caversham Team 2 of Petra Milne, Dan O’Brien, Neil Brown and Nathan Hill

Leith Athletics Specific Report

by Marc Boullé

Leith athletes put in a great performance in cool but ideal conditions in the Leith “Ponydales” Cross Country Relays on Saturday.

The Masters Men’s 35-49 age grade teams of Glen Ferguson (third fastest time, fastest MM50), Mark O’Donnell, Andrew Lonie (second fastest) and Neale McLanachan (fastest time) won the grade by over a minute whilst the second Leith team of Chris Sole, Ray Knox, Steve Tripp and Nolan Hill finished 3rd.

Not to be outdone, the Masters Women’s 35+ team of Louisa Andrew (second fastest), Siobhan McKinlay, Christine Montgomery and Mel Aitken (fastest time) comfortably won its grade. The social team of Cliff Kelway-Pope, Marc Boulle, Michael Walker and Stu Hodges finished second in the social grade and the team of Caitlin O’Donnell (fastest GU15), Joy Scarlet, Susan Craig and Jan Brosnahan was fifth.

Most significant though was a second placed finish in the longer Open Race to the team of Jason Palmer, Steve Morrison, Neale Mclanachan and Rob Creasy which ran magnificently in a ding dong battle with Hill City University to get second place to a strong Caversham outfit. The open team of Jamie Gardener, Thomas Dwight, Glen Ferguson and Andrew Lonie finished fifth.

Thanks to all those who helped to make this a fantastically organised and exciting event in pre-race organising, putting up the course, the race day officiating and the clearing up afterwards. Also thanks to our sponsors and also to Steve Aitken for his awesome photos. And also thanks to the weather for holding off the snow for a day.

The 34th Leith Cross Country Relays, Sat 24 May 2014

Dunedin Pony Club, Three Mile Hill Road, Dunedin

Full Results >> Leith Cross Country Relays Results 

Hill City-University secures both senior relay titles

Source – ODT Online Edition | Thursday, 29 May 2014 | 15:25:34
By Alistair McMurran on Mon, 26 May 2014

Hill City-University announced it will be a force to reckon with on the local harrier scene for some time, when it won both senior titles at the cross-country relays on Saturday.
With an average age of just 20 in both teams, Hill City-University teams proved results in the recent Lovelock Relays were no one-off.

The dark clouds over the Dunedin Pony Club grounds, combined with testing underfoot conditions, seemed of little consequence to the runners.

Kick-starting the club’s success were Hannah Adamson, Katrina Andrews, Mary Gray and Deborah Lynch, who battled a motivated Ariki team to clinch the senior women’s title in a come-from-behind victory.

Hanna English got her Ariki team away to a flying start, presenting Bridget Thompson with a 24sec lead for the start of the second leg. Both Thompson and Ariki’s third runner, Charlotte Cahill, held their own against the all-round strength of Hill City-University. But as soon as Lynch took the baton for the final leg, it was game over for Ariki.

Lynch wasted little time in running down a 12sec deficit to take the lead and complement a solid performance put in by Adamson, Andrews and Gray on the earlier legs. Lynch, whose younger sister, Susannah, was running the final leg for the Hill City-University No 2 team, broke the tape in 33min 53sec, clocking second-fastest individual time on the 2000m circuit of 8min 14sec, after English had posted 7min 54sec on the first leg.

”I didn’t want to let my team down,” Lynch said. ”But really I ended up running scared of my sister.”

As darkness descended, the senior men’s 4 x 2750m race unfolded with plenty of drama. Hill City-University’s Joe Beamish and Ariki’s Stafford Thompson turned it into a two-way contest from the start. Beamish snatched a 7sec advantage at the first change. But a blistering turn of pace from Nathan Baxter enabled him to gain
fastest time, a slick 9min 14sec, handing Ariki a massive 1min 11sec lead for Dave Catherwood to take into the third leg. However, the weather gods tested the will of the two teams vying for victory, unleashing a torrent of rain, hail and snow that took its toll on Catherwood. ”It felt like sticking your head in a deep freeze,” Catherwood said. He commented that over the first part of the course he was running head on into the weather. ”You could hardly breathe. The air was so cold and the hail … I had my head down and was struggling to get air in.”

Catherwood always seems to draw the short straw for the game-changing stages. Last year, it was his run in the Lovelock Relay. But on Saturday, he was full of praise for Josh Campbell, who overhauled the massive deficit to regain the lead for Hill City-University.

Campbell handed Andrew Pohl a 6sec advantage over Ariki on the final leg. But with 2000m remaining, Pohl had been caught, and was locked in a stride-for-stride battle with Ariki’s Anthony Trainor. Only over the final stages was Pohl able to break away from Trainor and bring his team home victorious in 39min 36sec, 34sec clear of Trainor’s team, Ariki. Defending champion Caversham was third.

Hill City, before it amalgamated with University, last won the senior men’s title in 1993. University won in 1994 and 2006.

Leith athletes had some good wins in the grades

by Marc Boullé

Leith Harriers held its Ponydales Cross Country Relays on Saturday. The weather ranged from coolish North Westerlies and sun to bitterly cold South Westerlies with hail and rain for the Open Men’s race. Leith teams did very well with the Leith Master Men’s 35 team of Glen Ferguson, Michael Tannock, Alan Funnell and Neale McLanachan winning its grade. McLanachan (7min 22sec) achieved second fastest time in the grade while Glen Ferguson (7min 27sec) was the fastest Master Men’s 50 runner of the day over the 2km course. Louisa Andrew (8min 4sec) who had fastest time in the Master Women’s 35 grade led her team of Andrew, Jude Patterson, Christine Montgomery and Mel Aitken to a win in the Master Women’s 35 grade. The Leith Master Men’s 50 team of Brian Pascoe, Stu Hodges, Chris Sole and Ray Knox finish third in the Master Men’s 50 grade. The Leith Social 1 team of Peter Frew, Andrew Wilson, Megan Balchin and Alan Funnell won the social grade with the Leith Social 2 team of Michael Walker, Cliff Kelway-Pope, Caitlin O’Donnell and Nick Williamson finished third. The Leith Senior Men’s team of Jason Palmer, Aaron Eyles, Sean Hepburn and Neale McLanachan finished fifth in the Open Men’s 3km race. Special thanks to all those who helped organise this race and assisted in any capacity in what was a hugely successful and popular event despite the weather crashing somewhat during the feature Open 3km race.

The 33rd Leith Cross Country Relays, Sat 18 May 2013

Dunedin Pony Club, Three Mile Hill Road, Dunedin

Full Results >> Leith Cross Country Relays Results 

Race Report Summary

Weather: Cold and foggy throughout

Caversham won the Leith Harriers Cross Country “Ponydales” Relays Open Men’s title for the fifth time in sucession and Hill City-University won the Open Women’s title for its third successive victory. See the Wayne Parson’s race report and the Leith Athletics specific report further below.

One runner on the last leg for his team was heard to comment: “I knew the runners behind me were faster than I was and I had no idea if they were catching me or not due to the fog. However, the priority was not to get lost and hope that they did. During my lap I saw no one in front of me and none behind me. It was as if I were running on my own.”

Young runners step up in style

Source – Otago Daily Times – Online Edition | Monday, 20 May 2013 | 07:49:59

article by Wayne Parsons on Mon, 20 May 2013

A young and inspired Caversham team overcame the odds to win the club’s fifth consecutive (Leith Harriers) cross-country relay title at the Dunedin Pony Club grounds on Saturday. Caversham, perhaps the club in the region most affected by the loss of athletes because of employment opportunities this year, was also missing two of its leading runners for its defence of the title. But the 11th-hour replacements, relative unknowns Joe Matthews and Sam Hopper, proved they were more than capable of stepping up.

Matthews, in his first full season of running, had mixed success in age-group competition at the Otago championships. But on Saturday, he took the baton from national junior 10,000m champion Jonah Smith and ran as if he belonged in A grade company. Likewise, Hopper’s run was impressive. Matthews (16) and Hopper (18) joined Smith (18) and Otago 1500m champion Ben Anderson (21) to form one of the youngest teams to have won the title. Anderson, who captained the team to victory and was the only member of last year’s team to be backing up, was full of praise for his young team. ”That was an exceptional run from Jonah on the first leg, and Joe was just outstanding,” he said. ”And Sam (Hopper) just proved he’s going to be one to watch.” For Matthews, it was the second time in recent weeks he had stepped up to fill senior men’s A grade running shoes. He was a replacement in the Caversham team that finished runner-up in the Lovelock Relays two weeks ago. ”He’s certainly taking his opportunities and will just keep getting better and better,” Anderson said. Smith found himself lining up with Sam Bremer (Hill City/University), a runner he had never beaten. However, he challenged Bremer from the start, running strongly throughout and attacking the jumps to hand Matthews a handy 18sec lead at the first change. The competition between the two saw Smith gain second-fastest time of 9min 31sec for the 2650m loop. Matthews and Hopper did the business over the middle stages and it was left to Anderson to emerge from the thickening mist after a powerful final leg in the fastest time of the day, 9min 29sec. Caversham stopped the clock at 39min 42sec, Hill City-University was second in 40min 47sec and Leith third in 41min 35sec.

An impressive first leg from Rebekah Greene in the open women’s 4x2000m event set Hill City-University up for a third consecutive victory. Greene clocked 7min 51sec on the 2000m loop, securing fastest time, and consistent runs from fellow team members Hannah Adamson, Shauna Pali and Kirsty O’Sullivan completed the team’s dominance in the grade. They won in a time of 32min 46sec. Ariki No1 was second in 33min 22sec and Hill City No2 third in 35min 48sec. The Ariki pair of Hanna and Sian English achieved second and third-fastest times. Younger sister Hanna got bragging rights with 7min 56sec and Sian finished in 8min 4sec.

Leith Athletes hold their own

by Marc Boullé

The Leith Harrier teams fared well at the Leith Harriers Cross Country Relays on Saturday. Run on the course fondly known as “The Ponydales”, the relays were run in very foggy and cold conditions, although the going was relatively firm.

Open Grade course (2,670m)
The Leith Open Men’s team of Jason Palmer, Angus McDonald, Aaron Eyles, Neale McLanachan (9:45 third fastest SM) achieved Leith’s best result for many years in finishing third in this tough grade in 41:35 over the 2,670m distance.

Open Women + Age grades and Social grades course (2km)
The Leith Masters Women’s team of Louisa Andrew (8:18 fastest time MW35), Joy Scarlet, Jude Patterson and Mel Aitken (8:48 second fastest MW35) ran magnificently for its comfortable win in a time of 37:01 over four minutes ahead of second placed Ariki over the 2km course.
The Leith Social Blue team of Andrew Wilson, Craig Gordon, Sean Hepburn, Megan Balchin ran exceptionally well to win the social grade in 34:38. The Leith Social White team of Jason Low, Murray Jensen-McCloy, Clifford Kelway-Pope, Grant McDougall finished third in 37:37. The Leith Social Black team of Michael Walker, Gaya Gnanalingam, Janice Ashton, Steve Skilling finished eighth in 40:08. The Leith Social Junior team of Tim Horton, Reuben Knox, Erin Knox, Mark O’Donnell finished ninth in 40:17.
The Leith MM50 team of Ray Knox, Chris Sole (8:36 second fastest MM50), Graham Anderson, Marc Boulle finished second in its grade in 37:29. The Leith MM35 team of Mark O’Donnell, Julian O’Hagan, Peter Frew and Alan Funnell (7:30 fastest time MM35) finished third in 31:44.

12 & Under Course (670m)
The Leith Mixed 12 & Under team of Aaron Allan, Bruce Knox, Caitlin O’Donnell, Annabel Murphy ran well to finish fourth in 12:19 on the 670m children’s course.

Thanks to all the officials, timekeepers, marshals, course markers, refreshment workers, sponsors, spectators and athletes for making this a special day for Otago running.

The 32nd Leith Cross Country Relays, Sat 18 May 2012

Dunedin Pony Club, Three Mile Hill Road, Dunedin

Full Results >> Leith Cross Country Relays Results 

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