Numbers boosted by NY runners

ROBIN RAYMOND
Last updated 11:30 03/12/2012

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More than 1100 runners including athletes from Poland, Switzerland and Japan were entered in the third annual New World Marlborough Marathon on Saturday.

Nine-year-old Marlborough boy Fergus Greer was the youngest finisher in the half marathon, while fellow half marathon runner Ray Bennet, 78, from Christchurch, was the oldest.

New World Marlborough Marathon organising spokesman Duncan Mackenzie said the field had been boosted by 25 to 30 runners who had planned to run the New York marathon, which was cancelled last month after tropical storm Sandy flooded the city.

Newstalk ZB newsreader Niva Retimanu was part of a group of 10 people who came south from Auckland after missing out on the New York marathon and she said her experience here had more than made up for the disappointment in New York. Despite being the last runner across the finishing line after six hours and 43 minutes, Ms Retimanu said she was blown away by the Marlborough supporters who gave her a standing ovation.

She and her whole group were planning to return to run next year's race. "We're so happy we came. Take nothing away from New York, we've all fulfilled our dreams and two of the group have said ‘It's better in Blenheim'."

New Yorker Jason Schoengold, who has run the previous two New York marathons, was also impressed with the Marlborough support and praised the region for putting on a great event.

Mr Schoengold was a late entry into the half marathon, finding out about the event only on Friday, but he said the run was a dream come true.

"I'm travelling for six months around the world and one of the things I really wanted to do while I was away was run a race in a cool place with great scenery. It was a great course, awesome scenery, one of the most fortuitous things that's happened."

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- The Marlborough Express

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