Runners endure rain, mud

EMMA HORSLEY
Last updated 08:07 13/08/2012
Oska Inkster-Baynes/half marathon
WARWICK SMITH/Fairfax NZ
STREAMING HOME: Wanaka’s Oska Inkster-Baynes dashes to the finish as he wins the New Zealand half marathon championships at Massey University yesterday.

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Runners had to cope with rain and mud during yesterday's half marathon in Palmerston North.

Numbers were up on previous years and a steady stream of runners and walkers paced through the route competing in 5- and 10-kilometre races as well as the half marathon.

It was estimated more than 1000 people took part, but organisers said the rain may have kept runners at home.

"I expect there would have been more, but I think the weather would have put some of the 5- and 10-kilometre runners off," race organiser Alister Martin said.

"They didn't have to register until just before the race, so some possibly stayed in bed."

Due to the cool temperatures there were few casualties of over-heating, although some runners were struggling by the time they got to the finish line.

A St John spokesperson said there were no major problems. Mr Martin said organisers struggled to get tents erected because of the weather.

"It was a bit hairy out there at 6am, but we got there in the end."

This year the Manawatu Striders event was run in conjunction with the 2012 Athletics New Zealand Half Marathon Championships. It was the 30th time the event had been run and participants who finished received a commemorative medal.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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