Queenstowner Simon Green was as surprised as anyone that he retained his title at the second local Jack’s Point Trail Run half-marathon last Saturday.
The 40-year-old says he struggled during the first seven kilometre loop – “I was actually bringing up my breakfast”.
After each of the first two laps he was at least 40 seconds behind fellow local Alun Williams, and didn’t expect to catch him.
However, 37-year-old Williams cramped up and Green overtook him with about 1000 metres to go, to win in 1hr 37min 27sec.
“I was really, really pleased,” Green says.
“It’s a real nuggety, tough little half-marathon course.
“It was a great day and it was just fantastic to see a whole lot of people out there giving it a go.”
Following just 60 entries last year, the second event attracted more than 300 runners, two-thirds of whom did the 7km loop.
The women’s half-marathon was won by West Coast police area commander Mel Aitken in a record 1:48.06sec.
The men’s 7km winner was Brandon Hoyle in 32.37sec and the women’s winner was Aureloie Raimbault in 39.02sec.
Organiser Andy Town, who lives at Jack’s Point, says feedback he’s getting from competitors is fantastic – “they were also blown away by the spot prizes”.
“I think the event’s set to grow, and we could potentially double the numbers next year.”
He adds that $1500 from entry fees will be shared between Dog Rescue Dunedin Charitable Trust and Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust.