A group of Lake City Athletics Club runners did not let a challenging course and slippery conditions slow them down at the Athletics New Zealand National Cross-Country Championships.
Representing Waikato/Bay of Plenty in several age groups, at Grenada North Park in Wellington, the group came home with several medals.
Trevor Ogilvie won the men's 70+ race and Tony Broadhead won the men's 50-54.
Hannah Gapes, 14, was the youngest athlete in the under-18 girls' race and ran strongly to finish sixth. Three of her Waikato/Bay of Plenty teammates finished in the top five, winning the team title for their age group.
Jason Cameron finished ninth in the masters men's 45 age group, Kathy Howard was second in the masters women's 65, Graeme Adams was eighth in the masters men's 65 and Jonah Funnell was 22nd in the under-11 boys' race.
Ogilvie said his win was "very pleasing". He led from the start of the 6km race, which he said was not his original plan.
"The plan was to just work into it and I stayed there with the first couple of 65-year-olds and settled in. I felt good and just stayed there, then came home strong. I felt really good.
"The course was very challenging, in terms of the conditions, it was muddy. I spoke to my coach and I said 'it's not a course for good times, it's a course to work out a strategy and try to hold on to it'. I think that was most people's plan."
He joined Lake City 20 years ago, with some encouragement from his wife, Lynne Ogilvie.
"My wife was a member and I said to her one day, 'you're going to have to choose between me and the running'. She said 'well, I love the running so you better join the club'. So I joined the club and I've never looked back.
"I've met some wonderful people and had some great experiences. It's been a life-changing experience and it's all for the best," he said.
Broadhead was "thrilled" with his win.
"I was ranked third going into the race and felt strong during the race. I'm training for an Ironman so I've been doing some cycling, I think that definitely helped with my strength.
"I was second until the last lap and the guy I beat, who I've been trying to beat in previous years, faded and I took the opportunity. I've never won a national title in cross-country, so it's right up there.
"I went down with Trevor and Jason, it's not just about the running, it's about the weekend away as well. I've got a good group of guys I train with, which helps, and a good coach - Kim Stevenson."
Hannah said sixth was "a pretty good achievement", considering she was the youngest runner in her race.
"I've still got a few more years in that age group. I actually really liked the course, it was like a real cross-country because it was really muddy with lots of up hills and down hills. It was a good mix.
"I planned it that I slowly got into the race and on the second lap was where the race started, I gained the most places on the second lap."
She said it was crucial to have a strategy going into a race and to stick to it.
"It's really important because otherwise you can blow out and stuff up your race. It's the key."
With cross-country wrapped up, Hannah now turns her attention toward other forms of racing.
"Now it's getting into the road running, in a couple of weeks I have the New Zealand Road Race in Cambridge. There are a few other road races and then we get into the track season, at the end of that I'm doing the New Zealand Track and Field Championships down in Dunedin."