The first man and woman to cross the finish line of the 15km race during the annual Omokoroa Coastal Challenge have more than a fast pace in common.
Tauranga's Nick Berry was the first person to finish the 15km race with a time of 59 minutes and 9 seconds and just a few minutes behind him was his partner, Tauranga's Hannah Wells, with a time of 1 hour, five minutes and 40 seconds. Wells was the first woman across the finish line and the fifth person overall to finish.
The duo, who both entered under BNZ, were two of a group of about 15 to have entered under the same group and they, along with two others, took four of the top five placings in the 15km event. In second place was Luke Williams, with a time of 59 minutes and 11 seconds, and in third was Alastair Brownlee with a time of one hour and 26 seconds. Liam Geraghty, in fourth place, was the only person in the top five not be have entered under BNZ.
Wells, a professional athlete, is in training for the Western Sydney IronMan 70.3 on November 25, which is a half IronMan event that will see athletes taking on a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike and a 21.1km run. She enjoyed being able to take part in a local event before heading across the ditch.
The Ōmokoroa event was the second local event Berry has won in recent weeks, also taking the first place in the Tauranga International Marathon's main event in September, completing the 42.2km distance in two hours, 37 minutes and 42 seconds.
Berry, who works in business and corporate banking at BNZ on Cameron Rd, says yesterday's race was a good, fun event that he was able to take part in with about 15 others from his workplace.
During the race he ran with Williams, the branch managing partner, who was just two seconds behind him. The pair train together during lunch times a few times a week, Berry says.
Williams, who is no stranger to running events, says the enjoys running because it keeps you fit and can be a lot of fun. He says the Omokroa Coastal Challenge was also a good event to have entered.
"It's a great, well-run event, it was great to see all the families out here together having fun," he says.
Co-organiser of the event, Catherine McDonald, says this year's challenge was the biggest yet with about 520 entries from around the North Island.
"It's getting bigger every year," she says.
She says the organisers behind the Omokoroa Coastal Challenge are a group of mums who put in hundreds of voluntary hours into running the event in a bid to do something positive for their community, showcase their area of the Western Bay while also giving back.
This is the fourth year of the event and every year funds raised have gone into the Ōmokoroa community. However, this year they were sharing it out outside of the area because they know many participants come from outside Ōmokoroa to take part, with money raised this year going towards the Tauranga Community Foodbank and the Waihi Surf Lifesaving Club.
She says the a $30 donation is also made on behalf of the 25 course marshals to go towards either the local fire brigade, playcentre or sea scouts.
"It's been awesome ... events like this are great for our community."
For more photos, see page 28.
Omokoroa Coastal Challenge results:
Omokoroa Boat Club 15km Run
1st: Nick Berry, 59:09
2nd: Luke Williams, 59:11
3: Alastair Brownlee, 1:00:26
4th: Liam Geraghty, 1:05:31
5th: Hannah Wells, 1:05:40
Omokoroa General Carriers 10km Run
1st: Andrew Carr, 37:33
2nd: Andy Guckian, 40:39
3rd: Stewart Simpson, 40:46
Omokoroa General Carriers 10km Walk
1st: Tony Boyd, 1:17:13
2nd: Phil Pharo, 1:19:02
3rd: Alison Marshall, 1:19:03
Lynley Park 5km Run
1st: Michael van Lieshout, 20:17
2nd: Harrison Mudgway, 20:19
3rd: Gemma Groenewald, 20:43
Lynley Park 5km Walk
1st: Paul Lush, 36:42
2nd: Maddison Sherwood, 38:29
3rd: Zoe Abbott, 38:33