Bay O Team win Great Lake Race

Category: General  |  Date: Tue 20 Feb 2018  |  Author:

A team of nine Hawke’s Bay school runners showed all the adults how to do in Saturday’s Great Lake Relay.

Will Tidswell (Havelock North High), Thomas Culham (Havelock North High), Kaiyin Hardy (Havelock North High), Braeden Kommeren (Lindisfarne College), Ronan Lee (Lindisfarne College), Bayley Stephens-Ellison (Napier Boys’ High), Amy Culham (Havelock North High), Jenna Tidswell (Havelock North High) and Tessa Burns (Woodford House) won the 155km running relay around Lake Taupo by a clear 25 minutes in 11h 29m 42s.

This was the 23rd running of what race director Murray Fleming calls ‘the largest relay in New Zealand on one of the world’s most picturesque courses’ with well over 3,000 competitors.

The winning team, under the name Bay O, were all orienteers brought together for the race by Steve Armon.  As with all the adult teams they were competing against, they dressed up for the event — Bay O all running in Hawke’s Bay Orienteering Club tops.

Seeing a team of juniors present themselves for their prize caused organisers to do a quick about face and hastily replace the cartons of the sponsor’s beer with a cap each as well as their victor’s medals.  Even their mascot, Claudia the parrot, finished up with a medal.

When they finished at 1.30pm Bay O had passed the whole field save for a couple of solo runners who had several hours start. 

That Great Lake Relay runners start at two in the morning is all part of the appeal and the vibe of this race . . . even if Tessa from Bay O said that was after her bed-time.  She was pleased she stayed up though as she won a Timex watch as a spot prize as well as her winner’s medal.