O’Sul­li­van wins na­tional 100km ti­tle

Central Otago Mirror - - FOOD FOR THOUGHT - MAR­JORIE COOK

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]’’.

SRI CHIN­MOY MARATHON TEAM

Dave O’Sul­li­van com­petes in Ath­let­ics NZ’s na­tional 100km cham­pi­onships.

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