Superb weather conditions, a picturesque course and motivated participants added up to an “absolutely outstanding” event on Sunday.
The 2019 Seddon School Tussock Run Fundraiser, now in its ninth year, attracted 492 competitors who ran, walked and generally smiled their way around three courses of differing lengths.
The 5km “Flyer”, the 10.5km and 15km Star Hill challenge were on offer with family groups and athletes of all abilities lining up to stretch their legs on a Sunday morning and support a worthwhile cause.
The Tussock Run is Seddon School’s major fundraiser for the year, helping finance important upgrades, and Seddon School principal Tania Pringle, one of the main drivers behind the inception of the Run, was delighted by the boost the school’s coffers received on Sunday.
“We have only done a quick add-up,” she said immediately after prizegiving, “but it looks like we may have cracked the $30,000 mark for profit. Our best yet.
“It was an absolutely outstanding day. We couldn’t have asked for better … amazing weather, incredible sponsorship and community support. The school grounds were buzzing all day.
“The funds raised will make a significant difference in future development of the school grounds. We are looking forward to next year already,” she added.
The racing was also outstanding, some top efforts being produced at the top of the various fields.
The Tussock Run 15km title was won by Methven’s Stephen Blackwell, backing up from his Woodbourne Half Marathon victory the previous weekend. He was followed across the finish line at the school by promising local triathletes Fergus Greer and Gus Marfell. First woman home was regular Queen of the Withers champion, Megan Graham, in fifth position.
The 10km field was headed by another familiar local name, Billy Hebberd prevailing. Awatere netballer Nicole Witterick claimed the women’s 10km title.
Young Neve McKenzie made no race of the 5km event, finishing over a minute clear of father/son combo Alex and Dave Hansen.
5km (235 entrants): 1 Neve McKenzie 21.37; 2 Alex Hansen 22.37; 3 Dave Hansen 22.39.
10.5km (132 entrants): 1 Billy Hebberd 42.29; 2 Jakub Stejskal 43.35; 3 Frantisek Andrie 48.39; first woman – Nicole Witterick 54.20.
15km (76 entrants): 1 Stephen Blackwell 1.00.18; 2 Fergus Greer 1.01.19; 3 Gus Marfell 1.03.37; first woman Megan Graham 1.05.54.