Since his early running days, Nelson’s Callum Wilkie has always had the Alpine Lodge Loop the Lake in his sights as one event to conquer.
On Saturday he lined up with 363 others and at the end he was ahead of them all, completing the 25km circuit in 1.44.57.
Wellington’s Theo Wordsworth trailed just under 4 minutes behind with Ethan Helliwell ( Nelson) nudging out experienced Aucklander Janes Kuegler for third.
The top three women were all locally based albeit one from across the Tasman.
Australia’s Little Athletics program gives their youngsters a solid introduction to gaining “fast feet”. Julia Anderson certainly obtained hers plus a solid multi sport background. The quiet of the forest is so peaceful giving her a feeling of being completely free is one of her loves and the pristine beech tree laden pathway around “the Little Lake” was certainly to her perfection. Being completely free though wasn’t part of the scenario. Wakefield’s Jodi Dobson was only 4 seconds shy of victory back in 2014. But despite running 6 minutes quicker five years later she still had to settle for “Bridesmaid” as Anderson held on 37 seconds ahead at Kerr Bay.
Klaartje van Schie has eclipsed under 2 hours on the course previously but had to settle for 3rd on this occasion.
Whilst the racing was keen, both race records (Phil Costley, 1.37.42 and Fleur Lattimore, 1.54.50) remain intact for another year.
2020 and the event’s 25th Anniversary promises to be another Sell Out judging by the contented smiling faces at the finish line