400 hit the Moonshine Trail in tip top conditions

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Close to perfect conditions greeted the 400 or so participants in the MLT Moonshine Trail on Saturday, as they took to the Hokonui Hills for the popular annual event.
Mountain bikers, runners, walkers and duathletes took on courses ranging from 5km to 50km, tackling steep climbs, farm tracks, gravel roads, river crossings and everything in between.
Ideal conditions made for hard and fast tracks and plenty of finish-line smiles at Dolamore Park, near Gore.
Sport Southland events manager Matt Sillars said the MLT Moonshine Trail, now in its 12th year, offered participants a good challenge in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and Saturday proved no different.
“As usual, there has been overwhelmingly positive feedback about the day,” Sillars said.
“The weather in the lead-up to the event made for some pretty outstanding course conditions this year, which I’m sure participants enjoyed, and the pleasant weather on the day only added to that,” he said.
About 400 took part in Saturday’s event, which offered six options: the CrossRoad Cycles 50km mountain bike event, Southland Isuzu 39km mountain bike event, Ewan Allan Honda 30km mountain bike event, Shoe Clinic 15km run, MLT 5km run-walk and the Macpac duathlon.
Most courses traversed private farmland open to the public only for the event.
Sillars said the way the Eastern Southland community embraced the event with its hospitality, sponsorship and volunteer support made the Moonshine Trail a
special event, which
attracted people from all
over Southland and Otago.
The results showed some good competitive racing, through to some superb efforts from those taking on a personal challenge or their first event, which was testament to the nature of what was a great event for participants of all levels, Sillars said.
Lumsden’s Gene Marsh was the fastest male in the 50km mountain bike event, and Dunedin’s Hayley Van Leeuwen the fastest woman.
In the 39km mountain bike race, Invercargill’s Carey McDowall was the top male, and Karina Anderson, of Arrowtown, the top female.
Gore’s Adrian Latta won the male title in the 30km mountain bike event, and Invercargill’s Cathy Jordan won the female section.
Bannockburn’s Richie Ford was the fastest male in the 15km run, and Otautau’s Angela Ryan the fastest female.
The 5km run was won by Andrew Kirk, and Gore youngster Ella Brown was the top female.
In the duathlon, Winton’s Austin Leith covered the 30km mountain bike and 5km run in the fastest time, and Dunedin’s Sarah Saunderson-Warner won the female title.
Provisional results can be found at www.moonshinetrail.co.nz.