Ben leaves 700 starters in his dust

16:00, Mar 06 2014
Ben Dalton
WELL DONE: Ben Dalton, 10, surprised even his own parents when he took out the whole field at the Fruit Loop at Matakana. Key sponsor Gay Smith from Gull Matakana presents Ben’s prize.

Runners at the Matakana Fruit Loop got creamed by a 10 year-old.

Ben Dalton of Takapuna, who has a holiday home at Algies Bay, blitzed the 700-person field in the 7km run with a time of 36 minutes.

The win surprised everyone, including Ben's parents Brian and Susan Dalton.

"We were quite stunned, along with the organisers," dad Brian says.

"We know he can run, but he was impressive on the day. We didn't think he could keep the pace he started off with, but he did. Running isn't in the family genes, so we don't know where it has come from."

The organisers had to switch a few of the first place prizes, like wine for a five-minute helicopter ride at Matakana School fair.


"It's the first time something like that has happened, we had to think on our feet with the prizes," organiser Neville Johnson says.

"Second place getter Duncan Anderson from Matakana Pub finished about 50 seconds after Ben. He said every time he caught up to Ben he took off again."

Ben is competing in the under-12s category in the State Beach Series at Takapuna Beach. In that event he runs 2.5km every Tuesday.

"He's the series leader in his category with two weeks to go," Brian says.

Matakana Fruit Loop is in its fourth year and more than $30,000 was raised on the day.

The fun event which included an 11.5km bike ride category for the first time, raises funds for the Matakana Coast Walk and Cycleway.

Organisers say the good weather helped bring out the crowd with more than 750 entered in the events.

Rodney Times