Lattimore's focus pays off with win
Story by: Nelson Mail - Photo by: Marc Palmano/Chris Symes - Shuttersport
Fleur Lattimore is no "fun runner" ... well, not yet anyway. That, no doubt, will come in years to come when her competitive edge dissipates. But, at the moment she is all focus, especially whenever she is on a Nelson Events trail run startline.
On Saturday, she lined up in the Haven Realty Sanctuary Run as women's record-holder and likely candidate to again be the first woman back to the finish line for the 25-kilometre long course. She was, clipping eight seconds off her last year's time, placing sixth overall, two better than in 2011.
At the front was Aucklander Kelvin Meade, also improving on his last year's effort – by almost 11 minutes – climbing Nelson's skyline 793 metres to Fringed Hill, "skipping" over to Third House and culminating with a demanding circuit in the pristine Brook Waimarama Sanctuary.
Nelson runners Greig Shirley and Benjamin McDowall were second and third.
Their women's counterparts, Tina Arthur (Wellington) and Robyn Perkins (Christchurch), were separated by two seconds at the end.
The 14km short-course competitors sidestepped the chance to head skywards but still found the terrain testing.
Nigel Burgess looked the early candidate for honours but Jonathan Love (Christchurch) had other ideas when push came to shove on the Sanctuary circuit.
While Burgess finished inside Gus Shirley's 2011 record, Love let loose and was just under 5min ahead in 1hr 23min 40sec. Scott Howley, of Nelson, was third. Andrea Livingston (Nelson) has never considered herself a runner but off-road in wildside territory she found her feet, finishing first woman, with Ellen-Mary Pullar (Nelson) and Jessica Willis (Wellington) following.
Next year's event at this stage will be moved to August, and Nelson Events Escape from Tane's Forest brand will have a new location over a trail that has not had a race run on it before.
The attention for now goes on organising the Furneaux Lodge Captain Cook's Landing along Queen Charlotte Track on July 28 and September's Abel Tasman Coastal Classic.
Both have sold out but those aspiring to be on the Classic's start line should not give up training as mid-winter ills and injuries always result in cancellations, allowing most on the waiting list the opportunity to compete.