My Vernon Grand Traverse 18km, Fun run walk 11km and Kids Challenge 2km 2019

Marlborough Harrier Club organized the iconic Marlborough event for the community of Marlborough. This year it was held on Sunday 9th June 2019.
There were 3 races people could enter.
The main event Mt Vernon Grand Traverse 18km which took you to the top of the Wither Hills skyline with its peak on Mt Vernon.
Next was the Mt Vernon fun run walk 11km which took you up Sutherland Stream ending up joining the main race course.
Of course the children needed a challenge so their race was along the base of the Wither Hills on an out and in course total 2km.
The conditions of the course was the best we have had for many years so records were on the line on all events.
The day started off – 2 degrees with frost for the organisers who were out there setting up at 6am. By the time racing started it had warmed up to a toasty 12 degrees but different on the ridges with the wind chill factor.
Still runners and walkers are a hardy bunch with smiles all round at the finish.

George Varney, a Club Member and student at Marlborough Boys College took line honours in the 18km Grand Traverse Men in a time of 1:12:05 beating his last years’ time of 1:16:04. In doing so he beat the course record of 1:13:24 set in 2012 by Jeremy McKenzie. Not too far behind was Sam Hansby in 1:13:23. Sam also broke the record by 0:00:01. He was followed by Harry Carrick in 1:20:18.

In the women’s race Megan Graham came in first in a time of 1:21:37 and 5th overall beating her own course records of 1:23:04 set in 2016. Katie Malthus second in 1:1:36:20 and Jeanette Landers third in 1:40:36.

In the 11km fun Run/Walk men, Philip Taylor blitzed the field in a time of 0:50:33 but not beating the course record set by Jeremy McKenzie 0:47:31 in 2016. Lucan Orchard followed in 0:56:31 and Andrew Gifford third in 0:59:16.

In the 11km women’s race Lucy Harman was first in 0:58:50 and 3rd overall breaking the course record last held by Emily Marfell 0:59:43 set in 2018. Not bad for a 16-year-old. Second was Cat Manson in 0:59:18 and third Robyn Deane in 1:01:07.



In the 2km Kids Challenge girls Katherine de Zwart took line honours in 0:09:36 with Katie Pugh in 0:9:36 sharing 1st place and third Melody Johnston in 0:11:07.

For 2km Kids Challenge boys Cashel King won in 0:10:32, Corbinian Merkle 2nd in 0:10:43 and Joel Laurance third in 0:10:56.





A huge thank you to the Volunteers spending their time doing what was needed to be done, Competitors of all ages in all grades and all our very generous sponsors.

See you all 2020.

Photos courtesy of Kim Bacchus can be found here

Photos courtesy of David Smit can be found here

Full results can be found here

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2019 Cross Country Championships

The conditions were perfect for the annual cross country champs being held on Kemp’s Farm, 17 Valley at the base of Weld Pass.  The course was made up of a 1 km, 2 km and a 3 km loop which was testing in places and mostly dry underfoot, although the creeks had just enough water to ensure feet got wet.  A lot of members were absent and numbers were low in all categories except veteran men and veteran women, who were competing over 8 km and 6 km respectively.  The field spread out reasonably quickly from the start as all competitors in all grades started together, including the walkers.  Although the junior boys and girls numbers were low there was still some good competition going on.

It was mentioned that the little hills in the first lap seemed to become mountains in the second.

An excellent day of competition with reciprocal banter afterwards.

Al Leach




Photos can be found here


Full results can be found here

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Burton Cup 27th April 2019 at Taylor Dam

Start of the Burton Cup 2019

Marlborough Harrier Club had a very successful cross- country event on Saturday 27th April 2019 at the Taylor Dam. This was for the annual Burton Cup. The original W.G. Burton Trophy was first presented in 1933 for a 5- mile Open Handicap. It is now presented for a Handicap Cross Country event in the calendar for all grades over varying distances. This race being handicapped gave everyone a chance to win the trophy.
This year was certainly different because unbeknown to us the Taylor Dam reserve was out of bounds so thanks to Bill Hunter and Marl Kennedy and GPS, 2 new courses were made up to cater for the varying distances.
The feedback at the finish line was “what a great Cross- Country course”
The event was run in very blustery warm conditions testing the competitors to their limit but they all had the same conditions.
It was great to have an increased number turn out for the junior grades with many new comers joining in.
The same went for Veteran Men with 5 new runners. That just added to the competition.
A full set of Burton Cup results can be found at
A full set of photos can be found on
1000 metres
Girls 7 and under;
Honor McKenzie 1 (6:08) and fast actual time

Start 10 and under Burton Cup 2019

Boys 7 and under;
Joseph Gilhooly 1 (5:00_ and fastest lap time.
Girls 10 and under;
Daire Robertson 1 (5:10) and fastest lap time. Hannah Gilhooly 2 (5:55)
2000 metres
Boys 12 and under;
Callum Rayner 1 (10:33), Harry MacNeill * (10:52), Billy Hurren 3 (11:01) Fastest actual time Callum Rayner (9:03)
Girls 12 and under;
Neve McKenzie 1 (9:00) Bella Rayner 2 (9:10)
Fastest actual time Neve McKenzie (8:30)
3000 metres
Girls 14 and under;
Jorja Bacchus 1 (16:53) and was fastest actual time.

Jorja Bacchus

Boys 14 and under;
Michael James 1 (14:41), Finn McKenzie 2 (15:01)
Fastest actual time Finn McKenzie (12:46)
4000 metres;
Sheila Waters 1= (44:46), Erin Waters * 1= (44:46)
6000 metres
Women 19 and under;
Anna Barnes 1 (38:58) and fastest actual time.
Veteran Women;
Tracey Sims 1 (34:09) and fastest actual time.
Alison Brook 1 (56:45) Winner of Burton Cup (Walkers)
8000 metres
Senior Women;
Gyuri Park 1 (52:59) and fastest actual time.

Brian Martin powering through

Veteran Men;
Brian Martin 1 (46:45), Graeme Lear 2 (47:54) *, Mark Kennedy 3 (47:58), Robbie Barnes 4 (48:17) Fastest actual time Robbie Barnes 32:47.
*Indicates a non- member of Marlborough Harrier Club.





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Novice Cup 6th April 2019

Overcast and firm footing conditions prevailed for those that contested the Marlborough Harrier Club’s Novice Cup Handicapped Cross Country event at Taylor Dam on Saturday afternoon. However, during the race, it turned cold and damp but that is Cross Country running/ walking. The handicap system works so as to give every competitor, no matter what their ability, an even chance of winning their grade. In theory everyone in their respective grade should cross the finish line together. The handicappers did a good job with most competitors coming in within a short time. We had grades represented from under 12 and under to veterans.
The next race at Taylor Dam is for the Burton Cup which is one of the club’s oldest trophies April 27th.
A full set of Novice Cup results can be found here
Photos from the day can be found here

Results of the Novice Cup are as follows:
Veteran Men John Dickason; Veteran Women Theresa Thompson; Walkers Barry Hyndman;
All other grades contested the winners have won medals in the past.

2000 metres

Boys 12 and under; Connor Pugh 1 (30.37), Cullum Rayner 2 (30.39) Jayden Lucas 3 (12.13).
Fastest actual Connor Pugh (7.52)
Girls 12 and under; Katie Pugh 1 (29.48),)
Fastest actual time: Katie Pugh (9.18).

3000 metres

Girls 14 and under; Jorja Bacchus 1 (28.37)
Fastest actual time Jorja Bacchus 14.37.
Boys 14 and under; Michael James 1 (29.16) Matthew Hall 2 (29.24)
Fastest actual time Michael James 14.16.
Walkers; Barry Hyndman 1 (48.35) Tony Burgess 2 (48.43), Judith Hyndman 3 (50.35),
Fastest Actual Time: Tony Burgess (21.58)

4000 metres

Veteran Women; Theresa Thompson 1 (43.57), Hayleigh Rayner 2 (47.40), Tracey Sims 3 (48.13),
Fastest Actual Time Haleigh Rayner (20.40)

6000 metres

Senior Men; Dale Smit 1 (49.48)
Fastest actual time Dale Smit 27.18.

Veteran Men; John Dickason 1 (47.30), Mark Kennedy 2 (47.51), Russell Lundon 3 (48.06), Fastest Actual Time: Mark Kennedy  (24.51)


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King and Queen of the Withers 5th January 2019

It was on a cool morning the Volunteers were out at 6 to prepare for the 43rd running of the King and Queen of the Withers. The cool did not stay as the heat arrived.
The Walkers were first off at 7.45am. 23 faced the 10km hilly course.
Next were the Hybrid at 8am over the same course. This section is for those that felt they could not run the event but comfortable running and walking. 56 took to the hills.
Next were the brave hearty souls at 8.30am taking on the hill work. 74 started and 74 finished.
In fact everyone who started finished for the first time for a while.
Conditions were not a cloud in the sky and got hotter as the morning progressed. Luckily all were off the hill by 10.30am which was before the real heat of the day reaching 33 degrees in the afternoon.
The Farm Manager co-operated very well in moving stock away from the main parts of the course and we thank him for that.
The course started off at Rifle Range Carpark taking competitors firstly on the farm road until Quail Stream then headed back across until they had to turn heading directly uphill to the Rotary Lookout. From there it was a matter of following the fence line along the skyline until they reached the peak then headed downhill past the line of trees and down the spur until they reached the farm road. It was then a matter of following the shady walk track until they arrived back at Rifle Range Carpark.
With the warmer temperatures no record was broken but still some very credible times were achieved.
Results are posted on but individual graded results are:

Running event

First Senior Man                     Jason Hunt                  42:47
First Senior Woman                Megan Craig               46.50
First Veteran Man                   Ian Thomas                  47.03
First Veteran Woman              Paula Oliver                53.58
First Junior Man                      Adam Forgeson           54.02
First Junior Woman                Anna Barnes               71.40

Hybrid Event

First Man                                 Patrick Dawkins          60.41
First Woman                           Catherine Snowden    61.45

Walking event

First Man                                 John Baxter                 88.08
First Woman                           Cathy Middleton         94.14

We ran a children’s event over a 1.5 course. Only 9 competed.

First Junior Male                     Fred Maher                  13.04

First Senior Male                    Rory Thompson            7.43
First Senior Female                 Bella Rayner                 8.33

King of the Withers 2019       Jason Hunt
Queen of the Withers 2019     Megan Craig

Winner of the Dennis Patchett Memorial trophy for the first Marlborough Harrier Club member home goes to Robbie Barnes in a time of 47.41.

Winners and Record Holders can be found here

A big thank you goes out to all the Volunteers on the course, timekeepers, recorders, Ron Adams for collating the results through the morning, Tail end Charlie making sure you all got home. Volunteers on the sausage sizzle and those who stayed to pack up.

Thank you to Marlborough District Council for allowing this iconic event to once again be a success and Rural Fire Service for attending as a just in case.

We look forward now to the 44th running of this event 2020.

Photos can be found here and here

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