Queen of the Mountain: Queenstown's Sarah Douglas crosses the finish-line of the Routeburn Classic Adventure Run las Saturday as organiser Evan McWhirter waits for an interview


You’d think Queenstown’s Routeburn Classic winner Sarah Douglas would have put her
feet up this weekend.

But Douglas, who last Saturday’s 32km race over the South ern Alps in 3hr 26min 14sec —
her second victory after a record-setting run in 2014 — was backing up the gruelling mountain running champs at Coronet Peak the previous weekend, and yesterday entered the 10km Southern Lakes road race in Cardrona.

Only now will she take a ‘‘wee break’’ before Queenstown Athletics’ winter cross country
season, with a view to the national cross country champs in Dunedin in August.

‘‘It’s a good way to keep up your speed, the distances are a bit shorter, and it’s good motivation to keep training over winter when it’s really cold.’’

It’s the first time in four years the Routeburn Classic’s been run — even last Saturday’s race was threatened by an incoming front, but a decent weather window allowed long-suffering race organiser Evan McWhirter to pull the trigger at the last moment.

While Covid-19’s taken international racing off the 36-year-old’s calendar over the past 14
months, she still has a couple of ‘‘bucket- list’’ mountain races in Switzerland she’d love to do one day.

Queenstown women dominated proceedings last Saturday, with Dahna Hunter coming
second (3:36.15) and Maureen Stachowicz third (3:45.05). Local runner Hywel Dinnick was third in the men’s race (3:01.33).