Guest has record with four wins

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HAT­TAN

Kevin Guest has com­peted in nearly all the Tower Run events.

The event, which started in 1977, has seen Guest take to the start line a grand to­tal of 32 times.

Guest be­gan com­pet­ing in the J Swap Mata­mata Chron­i­cle Tower Run in 1980 and he’s only missed two since then.

It’s this feat that makes Guest rather proud, and with four ti­tles he also holds the record of the most King of the Tower wins.

‘‘I re­ally en­joy do­ing it, that’s what it’s about. I love the dis­tance, I love the course, the peo­ple.’’

Guest said the Tower Run is a great event for the town to hold and the event in­tro­duced him to run­ning.

‘‘From the start I was hooked and I’ve run ever since.’’

He said any­one can make it out there to the turn­ing point, but it’s the dash to the fin­ish line where the race re­ally takes place.

Guest said those want­ing to take home ei­ther the King or Queen of the Tower ti­tle have to pace them­selves.

‘‘Ev­ery­one starts off re­ally fast and then they set­tle down to their pace. It’s slightly down­hill go­ing out but it’s up­hill com­ing back and you’re also run­ning into the sun so it makes it quite tricky.’’

The event has al­ways been run on a Fri­day, but it used to be run the week be­fore Christ­mas. Th­ese days it’s run in early March.

His­tory shows num­bers have been rel­a­tively large over the years, but in the early days, and one year in par­tic­u­lar, only 15 run­ners took part.

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‘‘It’s re­ally grown since then, ev­ery year’s got bet­ter.’’

Look­ing back at records gath­ered by Guest, a num­ber of well-known ath­letes have taken part in the Tower Run in­clud­ing Trans-Tas­man rower Scott Don­ald­son.

‘‘Back in the early days, reg­is­tered ath­letes weren’t al­lowed to run for the ti­tle, it was only for av­er­age run­ners but that got changed and it got opened up and drew bet­ter peo­ple.’’

1988 was the first time the Queen of the Tower ti­tle was raced for. ‘‘Be­fore then, women could run but there was no recog­ni­tion.’’

Shane Mar­shall ‘‘was in a league of his own’’ and holds the race record of 20:13 which ‘‘no one will ever come close to’’.

Reg­is­tra­tions opened last week for the J Swap Mata­mata Chron­i­cle Tower Run. The event, held this year on March 6, is a fundraiser for the Mata­mata Ath­letic Club and Mata­mata Har­ri­ers.

In pre­vi­ous years, there were four team cat­e­gories for the 6.6 kilo­me­tre run, but due to a lack of in­ter­est in th­ese, they will no longer be an op­tion. The only team event is the open run­ning team for the 6.6km dis­tance. In­di­vid­ual cat­e­gories are un­changed.

The course starts and fin­ishes at the Karaka St en­trance of Tom Grant Drive. There are two dis­tances on of­fer, 6.6km and 4km. There will be spot prizes and en­tries start from $5. Reg­is­tra­tion forms are avail­able now from the Chron­i­cle of­fice at 2 Tainui St un­til noon race day.

The com­mit­tee en­cour­age en­trants to reg­is­ter be­fore noon on race day but will ac­cept late reg­is­tra­tions for an ad­di­tional fee at the start line, from 5pm.

Photo: TERESA HAT­TAN

HIS­TORY: Mata­mata’s Kevin Guest is a four times King of the Tower and has kept a large num­ber of clip­pings from past Tower Run events.

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