Kanuka Killer Race Report

A capacity field of 100 runners took on the inaugural Kanuka Killer Trail Run held in Bendigo on Saturday.

Sarah Douglas

The event was a huge success and raised more then $500 for the Dog Rescue (DRD).

In the men’s race there was a real battle up front with the two race favourites Jonah Smith and Tom Spencer pushing each other hard all the way.

Jonah Smith winning

The lead changed several times, Jonah had the edge on the uphill sections and Tom fought back hard on the technical rocky sections, especially on the descents.

Jonah said, “I had to dig it in extremely hard on the ascents as I knew Tom had the superior speed on the rough downhill section’s of the course and would close the gap on me again”

Eventually Jonah took the dominant lead and pressed on to take the win with a 3 minute buffer in a time of 1:03:15.

Tom finished in 2nd place with a time of 1:06:39 and Ruben Connelly was 3rd in 1:11:15.

Tom Spencer 2nd place in the men’s, finishing strong

In the Veteran Men’s race Tristan Millen of Queenstown had an outstanding race to take the win and 4th place overall in a time of 1:11:44 ahead of local farm manager Andrew Bendall who was 2nd in a time of 1:17:51 with the ageing old man Andy Town taking 3rd spot in a time of 1:18:09.

Tristan Millen wins the Veterans

The womens race was equally exciting and as expected the race came down to an epic battle between two of NZ’s best mountain running exponents, Sabrina Grogan (2017 & current NZ Mountain Running Champ) and Sarah Douglas (2016 NZ Mountain Running Champ) versus top Brit fell runner Becky Sheffield.

All three ladies took off at a torrid pace from the gun and were locked into a real battle to establish dominance.

It was the tall lean figure of Becky who dug in hard and established an early advantage , her speed over the initial flat section was very impressive.

Sabrina maintained close contact with Sarah also in the chase just seconds behind.

Towards the closing stages of the race it was the inform NZ Mountain Running Champ Sabrina who with only 2 km to go edged in front of a rapidly tiring Becky.

Sabrina Grogan winning form

Sabrina had said before the race, ” I have had a break from running and training since the Mountain Champs in Cardrona so I’m not sure what to expect, I’ll being giving it 110% though! ”

Once in front Sabrina pinned her ears back to take line honours in an incredible time of 1:11:50 and 5th place overall.

Becky who had a sensational run was less than a minute behind and finishing 2nd place in a time of 1:12:20. Becky said after the race, “I was urging the legs to move faster but they weren’t responding despite the effort”

Becky Sheffield congratulates Sabrina a fantastic battle!

Finishing close behind in 3rd place and having a great run was Sarah Douglas. Sarah was just a minute further back and stopped the clock in a super fast 1:13:34.

With three such talented and dynamic runners racing so strongly the NZ womens mountain running is in great shape moving forward.

The Veteran womens race was won by Bex Innes Jones in a smart time of 1:40:53 and she was followed in by local Tarras lady Cindy Hurley 1:44:22 in 2nd position with 3rd place going to Christine McLachlan in a time of 1:53:49.

Christine McLachlan 3rd placed Veteran Women

Thanks to each and everyone who ran or supported and sponsored the race, this run may well become an annual event.

Andy (Traq)

About queenstowntrailrunner

My name is Andy I own and operate TRAQ a trail running events and adventure company in Queenstown www.traq.nz. I am a passionate trail runner with several trail running records and NZ titles and look forward to welcoming you to my events and tours.
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