O’Sullivan wins national 100km title
David O’Sullivan was chicked* three times on his way to winning the national 100km men’s athletics title on May 6 but could not be happier, after completing his second-ever 100km race in a personal best time.
The Wanaka builder was fourth overall and first male (9:47:44) in the Sri Chinmoy Marathon, which is Athletics NZ’s ultramarathon championship race.
Auckland runner Katrin Gottschalk (8:34:03), finished more than an hour in front, after gradually easing away from her challengers Larissa Tuchin, of Sydney, (8:49:00 ) and ShannonLeigh Litt of Christchurch (9:27:13).
‘‘I did it in 2015 as well and was third. That was a bit of a fluke. I was half an hour faster this year, so I have taken a big chunk off,’’ O’Sullivan, 38, said.
’’We had a real battle. I thought about keeping up but with ultra marathon you have to run your own race. I was running second for a bit but the girls were a real tough battle. My feet got a hammering because it was raining the whole time and I had wet shoes and skin. The girls were through the medical tent a fair bit. But I think that was the best girls’ field they’ve ever seen,’’ he said.
The Sri Chinmoy marathon comprises 40 laps of a 2.5km course around North Hagley Park.
O’Sullivan said he did not get bored.
‘‘There was always someone around. I knew exactly where they were. It was a high pressure situation . . . a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing.’’
It took about 50km before he lapped his main male rival, Christchurch’s Jamie Hawker, and was able to settle on his heels.
Hawker was second male (10.54.01) and Logan Austin, of Christchurch, was third (12.07.08).
O’Sullivan is a member of Aspiring Athletes and trains with Wanaka endurance coach Val Burke.
At school in Rotorua, the 800m was his thing. He also competed in road cycling at junior national level.
The qualified chef moved to Queenstown in 2001 and Wanaka in 2009, where he now works as a builder and volunteer fire fighter.
* Defined in the Urban Dictionary as a situation ‘‘when a woman outperforms a man in a physical activity [such as a sport]’’.
Dave O’Sullivan competes in Athletics NZ’s national 100km championships.