Southland road running champs on today

One of the province's longstanding athletics events, the Southland road championships, will be held in Invercargill today.

All runners start at Queens Park's Feldwick Gates at 2pm and will run in and around the park. There are 10 categories, with distances ranging from 2.5km (one lap) to 10km.

The championships are open to all runners, but only registered members of athletics clubs will be eligible for medals and titles.

Athletics Southland life member Evan Jones thought the road championships had been held for at least 75 years. "We usually get a really good turnout, but it depends on the weather," said Jones, who is also chairman of the Southland harrier committee. He reckoned 120 runners could compete in fine weather, with numbers dropping to about 70 in wet conditions.

Riverton landscaper Corey Mennell, his daughter, Tori, 14, and son Blake, 11, will be competing. Corey said coaching rugby interrupted his training for the championships last year. He expects Ricky Gutsell to be his main opposition in the senior men's category today.

The Southland Times