Missing stars leave fields open at Masters

By David Ogilvie


There's good news for all the runners turning out for the rest of the Wanganui Masters Games running - three of the major players in yesterday's 10km opener will not be involved in the weekend's long races, and only men's 10km winner Andrew Davenport will line up for Thursday's 5km.

Palmerston North's Davenport doesn't have a free weekend for the half marathon/cross-country, and two stars of previous Games are sticking to just the 10km this time - even though they won their divisions yesterday.

Sally Gibbs, a former Wanganui girl now in Katikati, was disappointed with her 37min 42sec, but the boys in the field will have been glad she has been struggling with a disc problem in her back - only one of them beat her home in the mixed race.

That was Davenport, who was forced to trail Gibbs to the town bridge the first time.

Gibbs headed in Palmerston North's Soren Hall, who won the duathlon on Saturday, with Levin's Andy Burns following him in.

The women were wide apart - second in was Auckland's Marilyn Horne just under 8min behind, with Wanganui's Jenny Langrish third. Gibbs is running the national half marathon in two weeks and meantime treating her body very gently.

Raumati man Paul Forster, who took out the 50-54 grade in 38min 37sec, has won more golds at the Wanganui Masters than most people have had hot dinners. He made a habit over the years of winning everything - 10km, 5km, half marathon.

But now Forster wants to try something different and says he's "into biking".

That means he's done about half his usual run work, so he won't be taking on anything else at the games, unless it's a late decision to enter a bike race. Watch out for him in duathlons in future.

So take heart, all you runners, it won't be as tough on Thursday/Saturday/Sunday.

The walks were won by Wanganui's Gai-Marie Smart (women) and Palmerson North's Peter Zwart.

Smart finished third in the overall race behind Zwart and Colin Horne (Levin).

The Wanganui age-group winners in the run were:

Men: Murray Wright (40-44); Ray Langmead (80-84).

Women: Jenny Langrish (35-39), Marilyn Gammeter (40-44), Prue Paulger (55-59).

Walk winners from this area:

Men: Damien Wood (35-39); Neil Kirkwood (40-44).

Women: Sarah Gibson (35-39); Karyn Lewis (40-44), Gai-Marie Smart (50-54 and overall winner); Gail Bernard (70-74); Rosalie Hustler (80-84).

Dancesport Wanganui and Bulls had success in dancesport through Ross Adlam and Ann Robb (Bulls, three golds), Ian and Sandra Murray (two golds) and Jim Toseland and Joanne Garden.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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