Route­burn Track turns on weather

En­durance ath­letes find go­ing tough in chal­leng­ing con­di­tions

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - By CHE BAKER

Rain, wind and fog cre­ated chal­leng­ing race con­di­tions but could not de­ter run­ners tak­ing part in 12th an­nual Route­burn Clas­sic adventure run on Satur­day.

The ex­clu­sive 33km race was staged on New Zealand’s world fa­mous Route­burn Track, through Mt As­pir­ing and Fiord­land Na­tional Parks, and at­tracted some of the coun­try’s top male and fe­male en­durance rac­ers.

Welsh­man Hy­wel Din­nick, 25, was able to take top honours in the men’s sec­tion, while Kat Reynolds, of Waimauku, was able to take out the women’s sec­tion.

Din­nick, who has lived in Queen­stown for 18 months, was a first-time Route­burn com­peti­tor whose only ex­pe­ri­ence of the track was when he and friend ran in both ways in one day over the Christ­mas break.

He said he felt ‘‘pretty con­fi­dent’’ early on.

‘‘It was tough though; the weather was atro­cious and there was a very strong head­wind be­tween McKen­zie Hut and the Har­ris Sad­dle.

Reynolds, 24, who only took up trail run­ning as a weight loss tool two years ago, has been on a roll in 2015, hav­ing re­cently won the Coast to Coast Moun­tain Run and come sec­ond in the Hil­lary 34k trail run.

‘‘I’ve done pretty well with three podi­ums in three events so far this year,’’ Reynolds said.

‘‘I tramped the Route­burn over sum­mer with my fam­ily but I’ve never run it, and even in that ter­ri­ble weather I still loved ev­ery sec­ond of it,’’ she said.

Race or­gan­iser Evan McWhirter said af­ter a num­ber of be­nign years with good weather, it was pos­si­bly time for a more chal­leng­ing event.

Route­burn Clas­sic adventure run win­ner Hy­wel Din­nick, 25, of Queen­stown.

Route­burn Clas­sic adventure run women’s sec­tion win­ner Kat Reynolds, of Waimauku.

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