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New champions celebrated at Meridian Hydro half marathon

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Cromwell’s Jason Hall and Dunedin’s Meg McKay are the new champions of the 2021 Meridian Hydro half marathon, held Saturday 7 August in Te Anau.

More than 249 people participated in the 21.1km distance event, but the pair outran them all to secure their place as fastest male and female respectively on the course spanning from the location of the original hydro construction village through to Lions Park in Te Anau.

Jason Hall recorded a time of 01:19:12, while runner-up Mark Paterson from Auckland finished at 01:19:44, and Chris O Connell from Dunedin came in third place with 01:21:54.

Meg McKay made a significant improvement on last year’s second placing, crossing the line at 01:26:40, with Wanaka duo Rebecca Clarke and Sammy Burke coming in second and third place at 01:29:05 and 01:31:04 respectively.

Meanwhile, the Mitre 10 Te Anau 10k event, which was introduced this year, sold out all 200 spots.

Todd Krieble from Wellington was the fastest male with his time of 42:09, followed by Ben Rabbidge from Port Chalmers at 43:05, and Dave Telford from Dunedin at 46:30.

Lesley Van Blerk was the fastest female at 47:17 minutes, with second place going to Te Anau local and expectant mum Claire Bell at 48:05 minutes, and third place to Kirsten O’Sullivan from Alexandra at 50:04 minutes.

While the weather didn’t play its part, with occasional rain showers and cool temperatures adding to the challenge, it didn’t deter the runners and walkers who traversed parts of the Lake 2 Lake trail alongside the Waiau River, which is maintained by the Fiordland Trails Trust.

Registrations for both events were strong with over 550 people entering from as far as Auckland, Hawkes Bay and even Australia, but after the recent bubble popped, the international entrants were not able to attend. In all, there were 433 runners and walkers that took to the trail in what is now a major fundraiser for the Fiordland Trails Trust.

Half Marathon runner-up, Mark Patterson from Auckland, said he’d never visited the Te Anau area before. "I made a special effort to come to this event and I will certainly be back."

Event coordinator Heather Sinclair says she was thrilled with the day.

"It’s a real buzz seeing hundreds of runners and walkers on the trail, and all coming across the finish line in Lions Park with huge smiles on their faces.

"A lot of work by a lot of volunteers goes into organising this event, but it’s worth it.

"We are very grateful to Meridian and Mitre 10 Te Anau for their sponsorship, and to the many local businesses who support not only this event, but also the Fiordland Trails Trust in general."

Next year’s event will be held on 6th Aug 2022.

The Meridian Hydro Half Marathon and Mitre 10 Te Anau 10k events are organised by volunteers and all proceeds go to the Fiordland Trails Trust to support its work developing, maintaining and enhancing a multi-use trail network in Fiordland.

Full results, images and video can be found at www.fiordlandtrails.nz

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