Half marathon conditions tough

SHARE

Male and female winners of the event had more than their share of challenges on the day.

Shannon Gutsell, of Edendale, said he was happy as it was his first win in a half marathon.

Along with cold conditions on the day, he was getting over flu he had caught earlier in the week.

For the majority of the race Gutsell ran in a quartet before he managed to surge ahead for the win.

“About two-thirds into the race I sort of pushed the pace a bit as I knew my lungs would collapse with the flu, so I pushed hard and managed to break things up,” Gutsell said.

Beat of many feet .. Competitors set off in the rain in the Gore Half Marathon. PHOTOS: SIMON KNYVETT

This was a key moment of the race and he was also aided by knowing the course from running it in 2015, he said.

“Having run the course before, I always knew that was the place where I was going to have to push hard,” he said.

For the female winner, Tanya Copeland, of Tuatapere, it was the third time she had entered and won the event.

“I was quite far behind the leader for a long time up until probably about 3 kilometres to go, and I just thought ‘nah, I can get her’ and so I dug it in – nearly killed myself – but I came away with the win,” Copeland said.

Thirsty work . . . Kelvin Meade, of Invercargill, stops for a drink provided by River Valley Lions Club member Catherine Borthwick. and the cold in the Gore Half Marathon on Sunday.

Copeland was trailing Dunedin’s Sharon Lequeux for the majority of the race but could see she was slowly gaining on her towards the final 3km stretch.

The Gore Harriers Club moved the event forward this year after cooler conditions in previous years.

Club president Nigel Marsh said it had been another disaster in regards to the weather.

“We changed the date to get better weather and to get a lot of fun runners along and we failed spectacularly,” Marsh said.

However, the club was still happy with the numbers attending, he said.

“We have got to be happy considering the weather,” he said.

He remained positive about the half marathon.

“One thing that our course can offer is that you can get out in the country – you can get a good look around.

“The 12km run takes you down an interesting wee gravel road which has a few hills, so the scenery of this race is good in that respect.”

The Gore Half Marathon aimed to attract 300 each year.

While numbers were yet to be tallied, he doubted that number had been reached.