The Conder brothers' rivalry continues to grow in the Wanganui Harrier Club's Virtual Race Series, as Ben got one over older sibling Christian at Kowhai Park.

Starting its season on May 2, the regular time of year, the harrier club has set up a scenario around Covid-19 restrictions where race entrants have five days to go compete by themselves on park courses around the township, where they will record their own times and send it to the club volunteers, with the results posted online.

For Challenge 3 at Kowhai, there were 45 participants, down from the over 50 who entered the first two races at Victoria Park and the Springvale fields, perhaps reflecting the opening up of other recreation options from Level 3 to Level 2 health restrictions.

Christian Conder had won the previous two men's races, with Ben finishing just four seconds behind him at Springvale.


But this time at Kowhai the younger brother collected the win in 7m 43s, finishing 14 seconds clear of his older brother and former NZ Schools cross-country international.

Club regular Chris Lines, winner of last year's 16km Brine to Wine, came third this week, ahead of last week's podium-maker Josh Payne.

The switch in winners reflected changes nearly across the board as only Whanganui Collegiate's natonal champion Lucas Martin retained his place on top of the Men's Walk leaderboard, claiming his third straight victory in 11m 41s, again ahead of runnerup Damien Wood while Peter Monrad was third this time.

There was a fresh winner in the Women's Run with cycling personality Cath Cheatley claiming line honours in 9m 34s, ahead of previous winner Sarah Matthews, while Paula Conder joined her sons in putting herself on the virtual podium.

Positions also swapped in the Women's Walk, where the runnerup at Springvale Mignon Stevenson claimed top billing this time in 16m 13s, comfortably ahead of Kate Quigley, who also moved up ahead of a family member as previous winner Alice Quigley had to settle for third.

In the spot prizes, John Quigley received a free club membership, while Cheatley continued her good fortune by claiming a $25 gift voucher alongside Michelle Selby.

The Velo Ronny's prize pack went to Margaret Stratford.

The full leaderboard can be viewed at


Starting at Saturday morning, Challenge 4 of the series is one 2.3km lap around Virginia Lake, starting from the leapfrog statue near the main carpark.

In a twist, instead of entering the lake grounds at that point, runners and walkers will instead race south-east beside Great North Rd along the boardwalk and head up Brassey Rd.

They will then enter the park from the Brassey Rd entrance and head north up the lake, then follow the middle track around the hill to reach the statue of Tainui.

At that point, they will head right, away from the lake, crossing the grass near the stage and amphitheater, to finally turn left and end up back at the starting point.

A map and video run-through of the course is available on the website.

Contestants have until 10pm on Wednesday to complete the course and send in their entries – it is free of charge and open to any member of the public.

The following week's Challenge 5 will be around Whanganui's town bridges.

The Challenge 4 course at Victoria Park.
The Challenge 4 course at Victoria Park.