Mason wins women’s half
Cambridge athlete Alice Mason produced a superb display of pacemaking and strength to win the ASB Christchurch women’s half marathon.
Unlike just about every other race on Christchurch Marathon day being won from the front by foreign runners, the doctor from the mighty Waikato had to come through from third place in the final 8km.
The multi-time national champion came into the race unsure of her form after winning the New Zealand marathon title in Rotorua just five weeks ago.
She sat off the fast early pace of 2016 winner and co-favourite, Olivia Burne.
Burne had super-vet Sally Gibbs for company through the first 8km before pushing even harder to be alone out front by 12km.
Mason has history in Christchurch. In 2015 she won her first full marathon there. Between 10km and 16km the runners faced Christchurch’s cold easterly wind. As Burne’s fast pace started to take its toll, Mason’s marathon strength gradually cut down the Aucklander to take the lead with 5km to run. With wind behind, Mason romped away to win by 400m in 1hr 17min 41secs.
“I was a bit worried early on,” she said. “But when we turned into the wind I could see I was catching them.”
Burne held on well for second in 1hr 19min 04secs to complete her set of Christchurch podiums (2016-1st, 2017-3rd, 2018-2nd).
CAME, saw, conquered — Alice Mason out on her own winning the women’s half marathon in Christchurch.