By Nicholas Pointon
Kara Macdermid did not look like she had not raced for six months.
The Palmerston North runner won the senior womens race at the Dorne Cup in her first race since injuring her Achilles in November.
Conditions were near perfect for fast racing over the flat course at Trentham Memorial Park. Rain throughout the week had done little to affect grass which was soft and responsive underfoot.
Through the first 2km of the 6km race, Macdermid was part of 4 person group made up of Nicole Mitchell (Wellington Scottish), Tina Harris (Wellington Scottish) and 2018 Vosseler Cup champion Maiya Christini (Wellington Harriers).
As the small group hit the 4km mark, Macdermid took the lead from Christini and Mitchell. Macdermid looked relaxed and composed as she effortlessly powered away from the other two runners over the final 2km.
Macdermid finished the race with a time of 22:06.06, Christini was second in 22:19 and Mitchell rounded out the top three in a time of 22:32.50.
After the race, Macdermid said satisfied with the win but was simply thrilled to experience the buzz of racing again.
"I am always chasing that good feeling, sometimes youre doing running, and it is just really hard and tiresome and that but then when you get that good feeling its worth it.
Macdermid said she never planned to attack so early in the race, but she "kind of just stretched out by accident".
Macdermid will be a real favourite to take out the title at the national cross country championship in August, but she does not see it that way.
"I just want to run, not place or anything because I cant control how everyone else is running. So I just want to run strong, keep chasing that feeling, and Ill be happy if Im running well whatever place I get."
Daniel Jones proved once again he was too good for the rest of the field as he took out the senior mens title over Isaac Murphy from Wellington Harriers and clubmate Malcolm Hodge.
Jones ran a similar race to the one he did at the Vosseler last month.
Jones slotted into the middle of the lead pack of about ten runners through the formative stages of the race. When Jones took the lead at the 3km mark, however, the pack began to splinter as he stretched out the pace.
Jones lead hovered at around 10 seconds for the rest of the race as Isaac Murphy did everything he could to stay in contact with the leader.
Jones ended up finishing 12 seconds ahead of Murphy with Hodge a further 14 seconds behind.
Jones revealed after the race that he worked out that morning as part of his continues preparation for the Gold Coast marathon in three weeks.
"[I did] another 8km session [this morning], I figured it worked alright for Vosseler but I think this one, [the Dorne Cup], is a bit a different, you need the speed, you need the pace. I was a 1km from the finish and was like I wish I didnt do that bloody tempo earlier this morning."
Jones said he is excited about going into the final weeks of preparation for the marathon on the Gold Coast.
The under 18 and 20 races were run together this year over what is typically considered an under distance course of 4km.
Liam Back put on an impressive display, not only winning the under 18 mens race but also beating out all of the under 20 runners as well.
Back sat in early and made a strong surge with about 1km to go as he dropped the rest of the field. Back accidentally went the wrong way during the race but recovered to still beat under 20 runner Seamus Kane by 12 seconds.
"I turned the wrong way at the halfway mark which wasnt too flash, probably need to a bit of looking over the course before I race it again."
Coming up to nationals he said the runner to beat would be Bethlem Colleges, Samuel Tanner.
Back is undeniably a favourite to win but said his goal is to finish in top 10. This would seem him qualify for the secondary school's squad that will be sent to compete in Australian All Schools Cross Country Championships in August.
The New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships will be held in Taupo on 16 June.
The championships will see over a 1000 high school athletes compete at one of the biggest college events of the year.
Women under 18 (4km): 1 Kristie Rae 14:12 (Wellington Harriers), 2 Sarah Lambert 14:29 (Wanganui Harrier Club), 3 Maali Kyle-Ford 14:50 (Wellington Harriers).
Women under 20 (4km): 1 Tessa Webb 14:20 (Fieding Moa Harriers), 2 Jayme Maxwell 15:08 (Hutt Valley Harriers), 3 Caitlin Douglass 16:27 (Olympic Harriers).
Senior Women (4km): 1 Kara Macdermid 22:07 (Palmerston North Athletic), 2 Maiya Christini 22:20 (Wellington Harriers), 3 Nicole Mitchell 22:33 (Wellington Scottish).
Men under 18 (4km): 1 Liam Back 12:23 (Wanganui Harrier Club), 2 Liam Chesney 12:42 (Wellington Harriers), 3 Andre Le Pine-Day (Fielding Moa Harrier Harriers).
Men under 20 (4km): 1 Seamus Kane 12:35 (Wellington Harriers), 2 Max Karamonolis 12:42 (Wellington Harriers), 3 William Sinclair 12:52 (Wanganui Harrier Club).
Senior Men (8km): 1 Daniel Jones 25:12 (Wellington Scottish), 2 Isaac Murphy 25:25 (Wellington Harriers), 3 Malcolm Hodge 25:38 (Wellington Scottish).
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand
By Nicholas Pointon