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Beveridge, Scott find way to victory

Men’s winner Gene Beveridge crosses the final bridge in the tortuous 24km race. PHOTOS/ANDREW TURNER

Good vibes on hard run

ATHLETICS

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Women’s winner Imogene Scott.

New Zealand orienteering internationals Gene Beveridge and Imogene Scott called on their experience for impressive wins in the tortuous Holdsworth-Jumbo Mountain Race on Saturday.

The pair were running second in their respective races after the ascent to Powell Hut, but their technical expertise on the tricky downhill paid off as they reeled in the leaders and pulled away over the final stretches of the 24km course.

Glen Chesterman was the King of the Mountain, being quickest to Powell Hut in 55 minutes, but Beveridge slowly reeled him in and passed him on the flat to win by 24 seconds, in a time of two hours, 31 minutes and 36 seconds. Perennial top-five place-getter Martin McCrudden was third, eight minutes behind Beveridge.

The women’s race was almost a carbon copy, with Hannah Fletcher leading at Powell Hut, only for Scott to overpower her in the latter stages and build a 50-second lead to finish in 3:10.23. Lizzie Ingham was third, two minutes behind the winner.

Both winners started in the second group of runners, with the races split into two waves one hour apart because of the covid-19 red light settings.

“The second group got the worst of the conditions,” said organiser Andrew Thompson.

“The first group had it pretty nice – it was just a bit cooler for them. It was little bit of an issue with heat for some people, and times were probably a little bit slower overall.”

Hooper Loop women’s runner-up Brooke Miller, right, chases eventual third place-getter Joane Elleouet at the final river crossing.

The race, which runners could previously choose to run in one of two directions was also restricted to the Holdsworth-Jumbo direction, and that resulted in a record number of 14 runners joining the ‘Sub-One Club’ for reaching Powell Hut in less than an hour.

“It had gone on to the backburner because in recent years, most people prefer to run in the opposite direction.

“The original direction was up to Holdsworth, and the ‘Sub-One Club’ was something people really wanted to get into, and you would get a hat to recognise it.

“Fourteen people got there this year, which I didn’t predict, and I didn’t bring enough hats for everyone, so I will have to post a few out.”

In the Hooper Loop race, James Richardson backed up last year’s victory, completing the 12km course in 57mins 17 secs, ahead of Hugh Taylor and Jamie Mitchell.

Jade Valler easily won the women’s race in 1:04.32, from Masterton teenager Brooke Miller, who edged Joane Elleouet by two seconds,

Thompson was thrilled with how the event went, given the covid-19 restrictions.

“Having stupendous weather helps the extra logistics go a lot smoother, and we had marshals out for an extra two hours this time, but they were quite happy to be out there enjoying those views.

“Everyone stuck to the rules and helped us out and made sure the day was run how we wanted it, and there was still a good vibe.”

Men’s Hooper Loop winner James Richardson.

Thompson said there no major incidents with the main issue being a few of the 250 runners suffering from the heat and dehydration.

LEADING RESULTS

Holdsworth-Jumbo [24km]

Men – 1 Gene Beveridge 2:31.36, 2 Glen Chesterman 2:32.20, 3 Martin McCrudden 2:40.54.

Women – 1 Imogene Scott 3:10.23, 2 Hannah Fletcher 3:11:13, 3 Lizzie Ingham 3:13.12.

Hooper Loop, [12km]

Men – 1 James Richardson 57.17, 2 Hugh Taylor 1:02.01, 3 Jamie Mitchell 1:02.27.

Women – 1 Jade Valler 1:04.32, 2 Brooke Miller 1:12.14, 3 Joane Elleouet 1:12.16.

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