Christian Conder finished with running ascendancy over his younger brother Ben while fellow Whanganui Collegiate standout Lucas Martin completed a walkers clean sweep, as the Wanganui Harrier Club's Virtual Race Series concluded this week.

Starting their season at the regular date on May 2, the harrier club set up a scenario under Covid-19 restrictions where race entrants had five days to tackle selected park courses solo, recording their own times which were then catalogued to find the winners.

The final challenge was the 'Round the Bridges' course - a 4.6km lap which started at Kowhai Park and would see competitors traverse the City and Dublin St bridges.

The turnout was 35 competitors for the fifth and final event, with deputy club captain Rob Conder saying 80 different people entered as walkers and runners across the entire series, which was open to the public, free of charge.


In the Men's Run, Christian Conder again took line honours in 15m 21s, which was 15 seconds ahead of Ben for another sibling 1-2, as Christian won four of the races while seceding that spot to his younger brother on their previous dash at Kowhai Park.

Gareth Jones, who won the 5km race at the official 3 Bridges Marathon in 2018, was third in 18m 22s.

There have been several different winners in the Women's Run, and this time it was Grace Hessell, who came third in the second race of the series, who took top spot in 18m 14s, ahead of the very consistent Sarah Matthews (20m 39s) and Sierra Ryland (20m 41s).

Matthews won the first two races and then came runnerup in the next three.

But no-one could head Martin in the Men's Walk, as the national champion won his fifth straight race in 26m 27s, comfortably ahead of five-time runnerup Damien Wood (29m 23s), while Peter Monrad made the podium for the second time in 35m 14s.

Lucas Martin
Lucas Martin

In the Women's Walk, Mignon Stevenson completed a strong series to pick up her third win in 31m 18s, to go with two runnerup placings, again denying Kate Quigley (36m 42s), who finished with three runnerup spots and two placings of third.

Christine Tuka was third this time in 38m 46s.

The full leaderboard can be viewed at


In the final handing out of spot prizes, Hilary Hazell received the free club membership, while the $25 gift vouchers went to Angus Quigley and Murray Wright.

Monrad completed a good series by picking up the Velo Ronny's Prize Pack.

Rob Conder thanked everyone who had taken part in the virtual series, which was set up to maintain regular competition-style events while organised sports had to remain in hibernation due to the pandemic.

"We enjoyed coming up with the new challenges each week and seeing the times come through on the website.

"The Virtual Series will remain active on the Wanganui Harrier club website and people can continue to post times for Challenge 1-5."

The club got back to normal with their official season opening today at the clubrooms beside Victoria Park.

As the country is still in Level 2, precautions had to be taken with pre-registration on the club's Facebook page, and other rules around contact.