Wreford wins Southland Marathon

22:53, Nov 10 2012
Sam Wreford, of Timaru, has won this year's Southland marathon today.

Timaru runner Sam Wreford has won today's Southland Marathon.

It was the first time Wreford, who is a national cross-country champion, had entered in the Southland event.

National champions, members of the 100+ marathon club and half-marathon debutants took part in today's Southland Festival of Running.

The event incorporates the Ascot Park Hotel Southland Marathon, half marathon, McDermotts Coachlines 10k and The Southland Times 150 Years 5k.

Wreford, 29, has had a strong year, winning the Christchurch Marathon in a personal best time of 2hr 17min 30sec and claiming the national cross-country championship in Hamilton in August.

Wreford was encouraged to enter the Southland Marathon by his coach, Olympic bronze medal winner Barry Magee.

The Southland Marathon was Wreford's sixth marathon and, while his goals today were simply to "run fast enough and have fun", long-term he is eyeing Commonwealth Games selection.

Sport Southland events manager Matt Sillars said: "As much as this event attracts athletes of a high standard, the majority of our entrants are out there looking to achieve individual goals and to cross the finish line of whatever distance option suits them best," he said.

The marathon started from Riverton at 8am; the half marathon started from Waianiwa at 9.45am. The 10km recreational run/walk left from the Whitehouse Hotel, Lorneville, at 10am, and the 5km started at Feldwick Gates, Gala St, at 10.15am.


The Southland Times