Run­ners’ marathon ef­fort

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BAYLEY MOOR

De­spite a head­wind and driv­ing rain, two men in the Kerik­eri Half Marathon man­aged to com­plete 21km un­der the pre­vi­ous course record.

Craig Laut­enslager from Nel­son run­ning his first half marathon also claimed the New Zealand Half Marathon ti­tle in a time of 1.04.58, while run­ner-up Oska Baynes also com­pleted the 21.1km course un­der the pre­vi­ous record of 1.05.14 which has stood since 1999.

‘‘Oska was just ham­mer­ing the whole time,’’ Laut­enslager said.

‘‘I was hop­ing to go un­der 1.05 and was a lit­tle sur­prised to get that time in the con­di­tions. I couldn’t have done that time with­out Oska out there.’’

An­nika Pfitzinger claimed the New Zealand Women’s Half Marathon ti­tle, beat­ing her pre­vi­ous per­sonal best by two min­utes to record a win­ning time of 1.15.57.

Auck­land’s Nigel Baker had a vic­tory of his own in this year’s event - he didn’t make it to the fin­ish line in 2016, af­ter he suf­fered a car­diac ar­rest at the 19km mark.

Friends and fel­low com­peti­tors per­formed CPR, be­fore emer­gency ser­vices stepped in.

Baker said he felt like he needed to re­turn this year to raise money for the North­land Res­cue He­li­copter, which trans­ported him to Auck­land Hos­pi­tal, and for his own men­tal health.

‘‘It felt good go­ing past the mar­kets [where he col­lapsed in 2016] and it was re­ally spe­cial to run the last 7km with my brother and his wife,’’ Baker says.

Baker says it will be the last half marathon he will do for a while and was look­ing for­ward to do­ing more fish­ing with his son on Satur­days.

Just ten weeks af­ter a dou­ble by­pass surgery, Baker was back run­ning.

‘‘My car­di­ol­o­gist wasn’t sure whether I should have done it - but I’m here and I’m still stand­ing.’’

More than $3700 was raised by Baker for the North­land Res­cue He­li­copter.

Heavy rain forced the can­cel­la­tion of the prize­giv­ing and the an­nual Kerik­eri Street Party.

Street party spokes­woman Tracey Bree says the event could not be held as they were un­able to have power to the street in the con­di­tions.

‘‘Pub­lic safety was mount,’’ Bree says.

The pos­si­bil­ity of hold­ing the street party on an­other date was be­ing look­ing into, she says. para-

Rachel Yuretich from Kaitaia strides out around the 7km mark.

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