There's a long standing tradition of holding Owairaka club races on public holidays - so what better way to mark our brand new public holiday and the Māori new year, Matarkiki, with our King and Queen of the Maunga race.
Jon Turner started things off at the clubrooms with a karakia, and at the end of the race we came together for hot soup, home-baked kai and a good catch up - Matariki hunga nui!
In between were the races themselves...
The tamariki 2.5k race was a great innovation this year. We all met up at the top of the mountain and ran a few laps at the top to warm up in somewhat Antarctic conditions. Windy! The start was done on speaker phone so that it was all coordinated with the main start - more innovation right there! The race itself was dominated by the Gatie kids - Ava and Seb taking out 1st places for the girls and boys with Millie not too far behind. And a special mention for Zack and Nova who supported each other all the way to the finish.
In the main race, Bethany Bromfield broke the women's course record running 19 minutes flat. The mens' race was more closely contested. A small group of Harvey Walsh, in first event as a club member, Kieran McLean, Jon Turner and James Clendon were running together at 1k in. Harvey was stronger on the hill and in the end finished about 10 seconds ahead of Kieran.
Well done everyone who competed and thank you to all the people who volunteered on the day marshalling, taking pictures and serving refreshments: Rachael, Josh, Helen, Matthew, Julie, Toni, Kate, Sarah, Peggy, Nina, Syd, Kuldeep, Tim, Jon, Ailsa & Cheryl. Not to mention all those who did some baking or made soup. Ngā mihi nui to you all.