Routeburn’s five seconds of frustration


Routeburn Classic veteran Stuart Cochrane has reduced training and clocked his best time yet. 

For the sixth year, 63-year-old Cochrane aimed to cover the 32km track in under five hours – and came a frustrating five seconds off his target. 

Cochrane considers it “a bit of a laugh” – he reduced training to one-hour runs just three times a week because he hadn’t come within ten minutes of his goal during six previous attempts. 

“I’ve been trying for six years but I haven’t bloody got there yet,” he says, adding: “I’m more than happy with that [result].” 

Christchurch-based Grant Guise won the men’s division in 2 hours 53 minutes and 20 second. His partner Jane Harper was the first woman home 3:47:03. 

Queenstown real estate agent Bas Smith was the third man to finish. Fellow Queenstonwer Melanie Moran, a Queenstown Physiotherapy co-director, was third in the women’s.