Runners shine at Ruapehu

By Cameron Leslie

Whangarei runner Jim Kettlewell has made it two legend titles in a row after taking out the legends division in the Tussock Traverse.

The 67-year-old Hatea Club runner completed the 26km distance in two hours, 57 minutes, and 32 seconds, to take out the 60+ division. While not quite up to his standard, his effort was still a good stepping stone on his way to the Cape Brett Challenge in April.

Kettlewell's time last weekend was over 12 minutes slower than his 2012 effort, with a recent knee injury hampering his preparation for the race.

Fellow Whangarei runner Bradley Douglas showed a clean pair of heels to hold off more experienced, and older, runners in the 6.5km.

Douglas led the race from the gun and came home in a credible time to take it out by about 10 seconds.

The 14-year-old had entered the race on a whim because his father Chris Douglas was running in the 26km event, and his family was staying at the Chateau for the weekend.

Douglas' win has encouraged him to come back next year and try his hand in the longer version of the race.

Nearly 800 runners and walkers attended the annual Tussock Traverse run held on Mt Ruapehu, with this year's event being held in hot, dry conditions - making it a challenge for those doing the 26km run from the Desert Rd side of the mountain.

Recent volcanic activity from Mt Tongariro did not trouble runners.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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