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Ayesha Shafi - The State of the Women’s Sections

A wise African once said: “If you want to run fast, go alone. If you want to run far, go with others”

A wise African once said: “If you want to run fast, go alone. If you want to run far, go with others”

You may have seen us running around the streets of Wellington, boasting our yellow singlets at races of every description. If you’re curious about who we are, here is a glimpse of what some of our Junior, Senior and Masters Women have been up to this season.

Junior Women (J-Team)

Caitlin Barber is one of the J-Team runners who has enjoyed a successful season. Caitlin recently made the Lower Hutt Regional Team for the Primary and Intermediate schools regional cross country meet at Harcourt Park. Caitlin likes the fun element of the J-Team’s Saturday sessions, and wants to focus on her race starts so she can improve her placing at Regionals next year.

Caitlin runs with a group of primary and intermediate age girls and they train twice a week, mostly in the Hutt.

Senior Women

The senior women’s field has without a doubt benefited from the return of Tina Faulkner and Nicole Mitchell to the racing scene. Since moving back to Wellington, Nicole has won the Wellington 5000m and XC titles. Tina, who has recently turned 35, has been breaking NZ records in the 1500m and Mile, and shows no sign of slowing down, beating most of the women in the local races. Nicole, Tina and I are coached by Alastair Leslie. Most of our squad is made up of middle distance runners from a range of clubs, and we train together at the track 2-3 times a week. Although we race against each other, we’re a close-knit training group and there's nothing better than having a friendly face cheering you on at the end of a race, or chasing the other squad members around the track while doing ‘Tina recoveries’ in between 300m reps.

Since joining Scottish last year, Kate Slater has been putting together a string of consistent performances and made her first Wellington team for the North Island XC Champs in Taupo. Kate is a regular at the Scottish group sessions organised by our men’s captain, Rowan Hooper, and it’s clear that her hard work is quickly paying off.

Masters Women

Our women's captain, Lindsay Barwick, is enjoying her best year yet, with a stellar sub 3-hour marathon and 1:23 half marathon PB. Those who are familiar with marathon running know how hard breaking the 3-hour barrier is, and if you’re not, here are some geeky stats to put it into perspective. The world’s average finish time for a marathon is 4:21:21 (males and females), and only 1% of female marathon finishers will run under 3 hours. Running a sub 3-hour marathon also puts you in a different category because now you can apply for elite entries to races! Lindsay is coached by Matt Dravitzki, and although she follows a personalised program, she is often at the Scottish Karori Park sessions on a Saturday morning, and at the Sunday long runs, or organising and encouraging everyone at the races if she's not competing herself.

Carly Denneny and Mel MacPhee also add to the strength of the Masters team, with Carla winning the W35 grade at Wellington XC Champs and Mel MacPhee winning the Masters Women title at the Dorne Cup. Expect to see their names feature strongly at Nationals.

If you're keen to give Harriers running a go, or want to know how joining Scottish has helped these speedy ladies improve their running, come along to one of our club sessions for a run and chat, and we’ll put you in touch! Joining a running club isn't just about being fast. You also make lasting friendships, and get a lot more enjoyment out of running! So come join us, and don’t go it alone.


By Ayesha Shafi

 
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