Rebecca Elliott and Brian Garmonsway are the Wellington half marathon champions after heading off the competition in the weekend. Both reside in the Hutt Valley.
Elliott, a member of Wellington Harrier Athletic Club is primarily a triathlete. She came fourth in the recent Dorne Cup.
“I’ve run for WHAC since I was 14 with a bit of break when I headed away for university – I’ve always been involved in harriers.”
Now, however, triathlon is her focus. She is heading off to the Half-Ironman World Triathlon Champs in the Sunshine Coast in September as the first ranked Wellington female triathlete. She is the national triathlon champion and also was first age-group athlete in the most recent Taupo half Ironman.
Her coach is her mother Ann Fowler (nee Keat), who has represented New Zealand in four sports. They conveniently live five minutes away from each other.
Elliott entered the Wellington half marathon – the same distance as the run in her Sunshine Coast event – as a training hit-out aiming to clock 1 hour 25 mins.
“I was bang on target,” she said. “I felt like I was on target most of the way.”
She realised when entering it was a Wellington title event. The title – her first – was a bonus.
Garmonsway, 38, only started running 11 years ago, when he joined Trentham Harriers. He keeps fit by running to and from work, a 5k distance each way. As well as the recent half marathon title, he came third in the Vosseler Shield. He was pretty pleased to beat top masters runner Stephen Day for the first time in a half, and for his first Wellington title.
He gives a good explanation why he runs so much. “We’ve only got one car.”
At the half marathon event he had no expectations, although he was third last year “I’m not a tactical racer. I entered it because it’s 10 years since my first half, which was this event so I thought I’d better do it,” he said,
“Towards the end I just wanted to stay ahead of Stephen – but I think he was closing in on me.”
He was about 40 seconds behind second placed Chris Sanson at the finish, after Sanson broke away with 5k to go.
Garmonsway has just been selected in the Wellington cross country team for the upcoming Oceania and New Zealand Cross Country Champs to be held at the Auckland Domain in August.
Overall Elliott was the first woman finisher, with Garmonsway the third male at 1:12.42. Day was the fourth overall and the masters titleholder, which in Wellington is restricted to those 40 and over, clocking 1:13.17.
Wellington Centre Half Marathon Medals were awarded to the following:
1st Brian Garmonsway (Trentham), 2nd Harry Burnard (Scottish), 3rd Stewart Milne (WHAC)
1st Rebecca Elliott (WHAC), 2nd Stacey Kennedy (Scottish), 3rd Emily Solsberg (Scottish)
1st Stephen Day (Scottish), 2nd Andrew Wharton (Scottish), 3rd Paul Barwick (Scottish)
1st Victoria Humphries (WHAC), 2nd Lindsay Barwick (Scottish), 3rd Renae Creser (Kapiti)