Guest has record with four wins
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.
‘‘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.
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.