Pāpāmoa runner Sarah Gardner has had a busy couple of months and she's not finished yet.
Gardner, who turns 35 today, continued her good form at the Wellington Marathon on Sunday, claiming second place.
She ran 1h 19.48s to finish two minutes behind women's half marathon race winner Lisa Cross. It was another solid time for Gardner who set a new personal best time, 1.18.36, in winning the Hawke's Bay Half Marathon in May.
Gardner also placed second in the Christchurch Half Marathon on Queen's Birthday Weekend after a tight battle with race winner Margie Campbell. Gardner finished 15 seconds after Campbell and ahead of Commonwealth Games double silver medallist Nikki Hamblin.
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The race in Wellington was a home coming for Gardner who lived in Wellington before she moved to Tauranga. The last time she competed in the Wellington race was in 2011.
"I thought I would go back and give it a go. It was a little but windy, not too bad for Wellington, but the head wind got me a little bit on the way back," Gardner says.
Gardner's personal best time in the Hawke's Bay event means she has ticked off three of four personal best times she wanted to better this season. She set new personal bests in the 3000m and 5000m events on the track and has just her 10km road race best, the 36m 38s she set last year, on her to do list. She hopes to do that at the New Zealand Road Race Championships in Auckland on September 15.
Gardner says the past two years under the guidance of coach Craig Kirkwood have been great. Her next focus is the Taupō Marathon on August 3 and she says she is not done with bettering her half marathon time.
"It has been really good racing this year and I want to go even faster. I am hoping Taupō provides some good weather as it is quite a fast course. I have been doing quite a bit of gym work. I am in good shape and have been training really well this season but it takes a while to build up the speed."
Sarah Gardner's best times:
3000m – 10.05.
5000m – 17.27.
10km – 36.38.
21km – 18.36.