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Muir smashes country marathon race record

Women’s marathon winner Ruby Muir [546] on the course with fourth placed man Krishan Day [547]. PHOTOS/MARK JERLING


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Wellington ultra-distance runner Ruby Muir smashed the women’s record in winning the Wairarapa country marathon on Sunday.

Muir, 29, crossed the finish line in two hours, 46 minutes and 20 seconds, more than 11 minutes ahead of fellow Wellington Ingrid Cree, with Masterton’s Annie Jerling in third place.

Both Muir and Cree beat the previous women’s record of 2:58.51 set by Wendy Stewart in 1988. They are the only three women to have broken three hours for the race.

Wairarapa Country Marathon winner Matt Moloney.

Wellington Scottish Harriers’ Matthew Moloney held off a strong field to win the men’s marathon in 2:34.45, almost seven minutes ahead of Mark Paterson [Takapuna Harriers] in second, with Scottish clubmate Geoff Ferry a further two minutes behind in third place.

Impressive as Moloney’s winning time was, it is well short of the race record of 2:21.20 set by Graeme Mackie in 1978.

Niam Macdonald [Scottish Harriers] took line honours in the half marathon in 1:11.27, ahead of Brian Garmonsway [Trentham], and Alasdair Saunders [Scottish].

Scottish also dominated the women’s race, with Mel Aitken first in 1:22.41, followed by Mel Stevens, and Lindsay Barwick.

The marathon and half-marathon doubled as the Wellington Championships.

The marathon also attracted athletes from Auckland because several marathons had been cancelled and they could not compete in the Rotorua Marathon due to the covid-19 restrictions.

Organiser Carol Macdonald said the visiting runners enjoyed the event.

“We had a big Auckland contingent because they hadn’t been able to do much and they seem to love it and said they would be back.

“We had 209 runners and walkers across all the races, and even though we would have liked more, it was a very successful day.”

Matt Bonner [Scottish] won the 10km event in 37.29, while Corrina Paine [ACM Masterton] was the first woman home in 46.34.

Hamish Duncan was first in the 5km race in 21.44, ahead of the first female 12-year-old Ava Register in 22.36.

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