Big distance win can't drag Carson away from 1500m

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2013

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Hamish Carson is not tempted to stray from his specialist 1500m despite a winning half marathon debut at Round the Bays yesterday.

The Wellington runner kicked away from doctor Dougal Thorburn to win in 1h 8min 52s in his first race at the distance but said his strength remained on the track.

"I only entered five days ago so it was a bit of a last minute thing," said Carson, who was relaxing on a hammock at his Raumati residence after the race.

"I've been doing a few three-hour runs in the Akatarawa's so I thought I may as well make the most of them before I start getting the speed work in for the shorter track races. I'm still very much a 1500m runner. This is just to test my range a wee bit."

The 24-year-old also has two 1500m national titles to his name and hopes to qualify for next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

He has a busy schedule coming up, including the Wellington champs this weekend, a 1500m duel with Nick Willis in Auckland (February 28), a race in Sydney (March 9), the national champs (March 23-24) and a meet in Melbourne (April 6).

"Commonwealth Games is a medium-term goal so I'm hoping to qualify a year out. So that's what the races in Australia are for and then hopefully I can do an international tour in April if I can get the funds together."

Carson is still coached by veteran athletics guru Arch Jelley, who is Auckland-based.

The pair communicate regularly via email and phone and Carson regards John Walker's former mentor as a "brilliant coach".

Alexander Williams won the women's half marathon in 1:18.17, while Wellington runners Martin van Barneveld and Tina Harris were the 7km winners.

Van Barneveld finished in 20.06s, just one second ahead of Tim Hodge of Tawa and three seconds ahead of Ben Barry, of Thorndon. Harris won the women's race in 24.16s ahead of Sarah Christie and Gemma Cartwright. There were 13,000 entries all up.

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- The Dominion Post

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