24th Leith Harbour Free, Sun 25 July 2021, new records set

We had a large turnout of runners and walkers at the 24th Leith Harbour Free 5km and 10km race held on Sunday at 9am on course 2 (Watercooled Sports to Vauxhall Boat Club for 5k race turnaround and The Cove for 10km turnaround). Despite the gnarly strong and cold easterly wind howling down the harbour over 50 hardy souls braved the conditions. Amazingly, there were a number of course 2 records set for various age grades. Leith’s Nic Bathgate opted to run the 5km for a change and despite the strong wind set a new record for the Senior Men 20-34 and the Master Men 35-49 in winning this one comfortably in 17 minutes 45 seconds. Second was Sandor Toth also of Leith in 19 minutes 13 seconds. Young Henry Eyles of Hill City-University had a fantastic run in those conditions finishing third in 21 minutes 44 seconds. First female runner was Gail Sharp of Caversham Harriers in fourth place overall. She set a new course record for the Master Women 60-64 grade of 25 minutes 47 seconds. Seventh overall was Leith’s Marc Boulle who set a new course record for the Master Male 60-69 grade of 26 minutes 6 seconds. Ariki’s Dalise Sanderson finished eighth overall in 26 minutes 41 seconds to set a new Master Women 65-69 course record. There were 23 finishers in the 5km race.

Leith’s Tadhg Ryan Charleton decided to do one more race before he took a flight to his homeland of Ireland to further his career there. He ended his brief but fruitful time here in Dunedin and Leith with a fine win in the 10km. He finished in 33 minutes 51 seconds which was 9 seconds faster than his previous best on course 2. Nic Bathgate holds the overall course record and senior men record of 33 minutes 22 seconds for course 2. Corey Lewis also of Leith ran a fantastic personal best on the course in finishing second. His time was 37 minutes 16 seconds. Caversham Harriers Ben Pigou completed the podium in 39 minutes 35 seconds. Margie Campbell of HCU had a great run to finish as first female and fifth overall setting a new record of 40 minutes 33 seconds to set a new Master Women 35-49 course record.

Thank you to Sebastian Sole, Chris Sole, Mark O’Neill (2.5km turn marshal) and Gene Sanderson (5km turn marshal) and to all those who took part in this free community running event.

See you all at the next Leith Harbour Free on Thursday 26 August 2021, Course One, Start 6pm Neptune/Magnet Street, West Harbour Cycle and Walkway.