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Ascot Park Hotel Southland Festival of Running | Sunday 11th November

Festival of Running hailed a success

(Sunday 11 November) Timaru’s Sam Wreford ran away with the third best time ever for the Southland Marathon today and clocked up a personal best in the process.

The talented runner ran the course from Riverton to Invercargill’s Surrey Park in 2hr 16min 35sec to cap off a successful year that has also included a win in the Christchurch Marathon and a national cross country title.

This was Wreford’s first crack at the Southland Marathon and it was a course he said threw up a couple of surprises.

“It was more undulating than I had expected, I’d just driven over it and it was certainly not flat by any means,” he said.

“I think I was more in 2hr 13min shape but the cross winds from about 21k and, especially in that last 10k, made it hard and I probably lost a couple of minutes there.”

The course record is 2hr 12min 12sec and the second fastest time on the course is 2hr 15min 58sec, registered in 1993.

Wreford said he was delighted with a personal best time and, while his focus now turns to the New Zealand 10,000m championships in early January, said he would like to come back for another attempt at the Southland Marathon in the future.

The Ascot Park Hotel Southland Festival of Running attracted close to 600 competitors across five events including the marathon, half marathon, McDermotts Coachlines 10k, The Southland Times 150 Years 5k and the SBS Bank Kids Mara-Fun-Run.

Tracey Woodford won the women’s marathon in a time of 3hr 25min 43 sec and Gore runner and defending Southland Marathon champion Ricky Gutsell was the fastest Southlander home in 2hr 47min 25sec.

In the half marathon, Neale McLanachan was the fastest male in 1hr 14min 10sec, while Victoria Beck won the female half marathon in 1hr 19min 41sec.

Jordan Rackham won the McDermotts Coachlines 10k in a time of 36min 32sec and Kirsty O’Sullivan won the female 10k in 39min 29sec.

In The Southland Times 150 Years 5k Oliver O’Sullivan won the male category in 20min 9sec and Andrea McDowell was the fastest female in 28min 4sec.

Sport Southland events manager Matt Sillars said he was delighted with how well the day turned out.

“It has been great. The improvements were all well received, including the new start times which meant there was a really nice, constant stream of runners from Argyle corner on and there was a much better atmosphere at the finish line,” he said.

“I think we got out of jail with the weather really, it wasn’t perfect but it could certainly have been worse and it all turned out really well.

For more information please contact:

Matt Sillars
Sport Southland events manager
03 211 2150
027 491 0000

Jerrie Andrews
Sport Southland communications advisor
03 211 2150
027 319 9820

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