Elite runners join forces for Bays run

SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2013
Round the Bays
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ

KEEPING SHARP: Daniel Wallis, left, Tim Hodge, Martin van Barneveld, Ben Barry and Jesse Patel will compete in the Round the Bays Run.

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Elite runners who kept breaking each others' records have decided to band together for this year's AMI Round The Bays.

Team Sharp is favoured to lead the pack home in tomorrow's event and members will be cheering each other on while doing so, coach Rees Buck says.

Mr Buck, 36, won the seven-kilometre run in record time in 2009. His mark was beaten by team-mate Martin van Barneveld last year.

The pair have combined to run for Team Sharp this year.

Mr Buck has been running for Wellington Scottish Athletics Club since high school, and competed at national level until recently.

"Over the past 10 years, slowly as I've got older, I've slowly moved out of high-level competitive running and into coaching."

Mr Buck has helped pull together a team that also includes Daniel Wallis, Tim Hodge, Ben Barry and Jesse Patel, and secured sponsorship from Sharp.

Team Sharp will have about 30 runners, including the company staff and other Wellington Scottish members, he says.

The founder of NZRun.com says his elite runners will compete strongly and have a good chance of taking the top-five spots, while others in the team see it as an enjoyable run.

"We should be reasonably dominant in the front. For us, there's not a lot of pressure. It will be competitive at the front, but it's low key so finishing fifth or 10th is no big [deal]."

He has also been helping other runners, offering tips on the AMI Round the Bays and Sport Wellington Facebook and Twitter pages.

His top tip for the record 11,000 competitors? "Don't do anything different. Do the things you normally do. Get up at the same time, eat the same breakfast. Before a big race, people often want to try new things. . . . but go through the same routine."

The ISC Lenco half-marathon starts at 8am, followed by the 7km fun run or walk at 9.20am. The race kicks off at Franks Kitts Park and ends at Kilbirnie Park.

See Monday's Dominion Post for photos and full race results.

ROAD CLOSURES

Road closures will affect Customhouse Quay, Jervois Quay, Cable St and Oriental Pde from 6.30am till 11am. Evans Bay Pde, Cobham Dr, Wellington Rd, Shelly Bay Rd and Massey Rd will be affected from 8am till 1pm. Traffic will be unable to enter Hataitai's Taurima, Ruahine and Goa streets from 8am till 11.30am. A detour will be in place for State Highway 1 along Kilbirnie Cres. Expect delays. 

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