Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015 Children’s XC Series Race 3 Memorial Park, Petone Sun 26 July



Individual Results
Team Results





 

Understandably there were lots of kids and accompanying parents at Sunday’s event.
The event seems to be going from strength to strength no doubt due to the sustained marketing undertaken by Athletics Wellington targeted at children’s and youth grades.
Interestingly Athletics New Zealand membership figures for 2014/15 reveal that children aged up to 14 make up 67% of total ANZ membership. That’s roughly 13,460 kids out of total membership of 20,035.
The next biggest membership group are master’s men and women claiming around 8% of overall membership.
But the surprise is that competitive men and women in the open grade (20-39) only make up 3% of total ANZ membership. Given this imbalance cross the grades it would not be that radical to suggest that athletics in NZ is dominated by kids and oldies (with all due respect for age).



Saturday, July 18, 2015

2015 Wellington XC Champ Races Waikanae Revisited 18 Jul


Results

Dominion Post race Report



It looks like we were lucky with the rain at Waikanae which stayed away for the majority of races. I suspect that weather related traffic delays prevented some people from getting to at least the first race if not others.  School holidays and the prospect of less than ideal conditions may have also impact on numbers which seemed lower than usual.
In the first race, a fit Michael Wray (Scottish) ran a well-judged race to easily head off any opposition to clock 31.11 for the win, a just reward for all the hard work he has put in over the season. No doubt he will be a serious medal prospect at the National XC Champs in Christchurch in a few weeks.  Second home was Todd Stevens (Scottish) in 31.50 while Simon Keller (Scottish) hit the line 8 seconds behind to claim 3rd place.
In the Senior Women’s race Nicole Mitchell (Scottish) ran solo to be clear by over 2 minutes at the finish line. Second on the come-back trail was Sarah Gardner (Trentham) with Olympics’ Lizzie Bunckenburg 3rd..
In race 2 Renae Creser (Kapiti) clocked 26.33 for fastest Masters Woman (W35) while Vicky Humphries (W50) from WHAC posted the 2nd fastest time of 27.06.  
In the Men’s U18 event Stefan Przhchodzko (Kapiti) broke away from the pack early and steadily increased his lead to win in 21.13.  Seamus Lane (Olympic) ran a well-judged race to pick up 2nd in 22.02 overtaking early pacemaker Joel Carman (Hutt Valley) who finished 9 seconds later for 3rd.
Michaela Walker (Olympic) outpaced a small field in the Women’s U18 grade winning in a time of 17.10.  Jayme Maxwell (Hutt Valley) was 2nd in 18.08 with Kezia Smith (Olympic) 3rd in 19.15.
In the main Senior Men’s race a leading pack of 7 stayed close together for the first couple of laps before Tim Hodge (Scottish) put down the hammer and moved slowly away from a chasing Evan Cooper (Scottish) and Ryan McAlister (WHAC).  Basically this was the order of the top 3 finishers.  Overall there were 29 finishers in the SM race which makes you wonder whether this grade is heading for extinction within the sport.
When you consider that in 2014/15 20,035 were registered with Athletics New Zealand had but this number only included 351 competitive Senior Men. Senior Women had even less members with a paltry 223. The only grades with smaller numbers were Men U20 (153) and Women (103). If we are not careful participation in athletics will be limited to masters and kids.

Race 1: Masters Men, Open Women























Race: 2: Women U18 & U20, Masters Women, Men U18 






























Race 3: Open Men, Men U20