Father and daughter coast to the summit
Dad led the way growing up – now Nelson’s Steph Marshall has finally caught up to her old man’s winning ways.
After two consecutive second place finishes in the Coast to Coast mountain run event, 24-year-old Marshall won both the overall women’s and Open 18-39 categories, completing the 30.5km course in a time of 4 hours 29 seconds and 54 seconds.
‘‘It’s probably the most positive run I’ve had through there – my build up was really poor so I went in with quite low expectations and I think that lack of pressure certainly helped.’’
‘‘I had quite an aggressive fuelling plan going in and I just felt good on the day so I went ‘stuff it, we’ll push a bit harder than normal’.’’
In a perfect family double, her father Rob took out the Classic 50-59 age group in 5:17:10.
‘‘She had an absolute blinder this year – she finally broke that hoodoo and absolutely flayed her old man,’’ Rob said.
Friday’s mountain run is the only component of the Coast to Coast’s 243km course that is also run as an individual event.
In her fifth race to Klondyke Corner, 24-year-old Marshall also overcame a lengthy injury layoff to claim her first mountain run title, having ruptured a ligament in her ankle in mid-2017.
Unable to run for four months, she was left with only four weeks to train for the event.
‘‘When you keep coming second you get that determination to win it ... Coast to Coast has been a family event through the years with my father doing it so I’ve grown up with it.
‘‘So I was doing everything I could to make sure I could be there.’’
A former Nelsonian who now manages the Monteith’s brewery in Greymouth, Rob said the lure of competing in the Coast to Coast hadn’t dimmed since his debut in 1995.
However, he had taken a more realistic approach to training in recent years.
‘‘It’s actually pretty easy to motivate myself – it’s one of those events that’s got a really neat buzz about it, whether it’s the nature of the course, the nature of people or the organisation.
‘‘With working long hours you’ve got to take into account things like recovery – you can’t go out and smash your body every day then expect to bounce back like you’re 25 – it doesn’t happen that way.’’