Contesting the weekly events run by the Ruamahanga Ramblers can provide some interesting times in more ways than one.
Last week's event, for instance, started at the Matarawa Hall, which is the home of the Wairarapa Model Railway Society. With one of the members working there, the younger athletes were excited about the chance to get a sneak view at some of the train sets.
Two railway crossings were on the 5.3km course, which went south and north of the Matarawa station. Being an open handicap race, the slower athletes started before the faster ones and the timing of the train from Wellington meant some competitors had to wait at one or other of the crossings for the train to go past. Handicapper Paul Furkert admitted he hadn't factored that into his calculations.
Lachie Sage, 2, again finished half a metre ahead of his dad John, helped no doubt by the fact his father was steering his pushchair!
Veteran Ray Wallis had his usual battle with old foe Susan Southey. They were handicapped to start together and swapped places repeatedly before Southey pulled away in the last 500m to beat Wallis by 10 seconds.
In a handicapping mix-up, Kate Pitney did the 5.3km course when she thought she was doing only 2km. Whether she and handicapper Furkert are yet on speaking terms isn't certain.
Results, in order of handicap and actual times:
2km: Emma Hyman 22.30, 12.40; Samantha Duthie 32.39, 10.09; Josh Price 33.37, 11.07; Sarah Pitney 33.55, 15.45; Andrew Hyman 34.26, 8.26; Jack Britland 34.32, 8.02; Michael Hyman 34.40, 8.10; Kasey Cox 38.23, 13.53.
5.3km: Austin Dale 31.08, 31.08; Cyrus Dale 33.02, 33.02; Fergus Pitney 35.17, 32.27; Kate Pitney 36.02, 33.12; Tobia Dale 36.18, 29.58; Steve Edge 41.25, 34.35; John Ihaka 42.31, 37.01; Cath Wedderburn 43.01, 38.11; Paul Furkert 43.16, 20.46; Susan Southey 43.35, 28.55; Ray Wallis 43.45, Malcolm McDonald 43.47, 21.27; William Horsborough 43.52, 30.22; Tessa Southey 43.53, 28.13; John Sage 44.03, 24.43; Ray Haste 44.05, 22.05; Roi Rimene 44.09, 27.59; Tesesa Reynolds 44.17, 26.17; Greg Lang 44.28, 23.08; Michael Duthie 44.28, 22.38; Steve Britland 45.34, 23.44; Kayleigh Horsbrugh 45.56, 35.46; Katherine Horsbrugh 45.59, 24.49; Ginny McLean 47.18, 31.38; Donna Saywell 48.11, 48.11; Linda Sage 48.11, 48.11; Irene Price 48.19, 48.19; Linda Fairbrother 48.19, 48.19; Kate Gay 48.49, 34.09; Gaylene Dale 49.32, 49.32.