Smashing start to season at Coach Slammer’s Cross Country Challenge

Cross Country season opened in smashing fashion at Saturday’s Coach Slammer’s Cross Country Challenge. The largest number of participants in the meet’s history competed over the 2K and 4K courses used as a trial for the 2021 New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships. Volunteers from the National Academy of

Cross Country season finally makes debut after long wait

The long anticipated cross country season, delayed because of the dreaded Covid 19, finally gets underway Saturday. The 18th Annual Coach Slammer’s Cross Country Challenge will be held at Saxton Field on a course that is being considered for the 2021 New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships.   The 2K, for girls

Eric Verstappen strolled through life and made everyone his friend

This is my tribute to Eric Verstappen, the longtime Athletics Nelson president and National Academy of Distance Running board member who died Feb. 8 from a heart attack after walking the St. James Walkway with his sister... Eric Verstappen didn’t just run and walk on this Earth. He strolled. He strolled his

Reeling in leaders was music to the ears of Harry Dixon

The last time Harry Dixon raced at the Saxton Field Athletics Track, about 10 years ago, he had a plane to catch. On his return to Saxton on Wednesday for the distance medley relay at the Athletics Nelson Twilight Series Meet, he had runners to catch. Dixon’s last race was a

Sir Peter Snell was more than a runner to Academy Coach

By Greg Lautenslager, Coach/Director of the National Academy of Distance Running Most people will remember Sir Peter Snell for his historic bursts down the homestretch in Rome and Tokyo and his world record runs in Wanganui, Christchurch, and Auckland. I will remember him from the day I sat on his back porch

Windy – and Rainy – Welly slows Academy athletes but doesn’t stop them

Winds gusting so hard a metal pole vault container flew over an infield fence. Rain pelting so furiously that puddles formed on the track within seconds. Lightning striking so loud that hotel guests were awoken in the night. That is the atmosphere in which athletes competed at the weekend’s New Zealand

Fitzgerald comes from behind to win Twilight Mile

Josh Fitzgerald came from 40 metres behind on the final lap to win the mile at Friday’s Twilight Series Meet at Saxton Field Athletics Track.  Fitzgerald passed the front-running Clinton Manderson on the homestretch and won by 30m in a personal best 5:07.97. There were 22 runners in the field,

Tight finishes thrill crowd at Harold Nelson Classic

Two unlikely Academy runners fought it out down the final homestretch of the women’s 1,500 metres to the like of the crowd at Saturday’s Harold Nelson Classic at the Saxton Field Athletics Track. Two weeks ago no one – especially the combatants, Lucy Harman and Charlotte Carpenter - imagined that they

Achilles heel healed, Pickworth soars to victory in Twilight 800m

On Tuesday, Fletcher Pickworth couldn’t run a step.  His sore Achilles tendon sidelined him for several days and jeopardised his hopes of winning a gold medal at next month’s New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships. On Friday, Pickworth was back on the track – the newly surfaced athletic track at Saxton

Nelson runners leave turtles behind at Queen Charlotte Relay

Athletics Nelson had the youngest and fastest runners at Saturday’s New Zealand Road Relay, and they were on the same team. Athletics Nelson Junior Men’s Team with an average of 16 blitzed into the lead, 500m into the second leg of the 35.6km, five-leg relay race from Picton to Havelock and