Great Day Following The Marines

 I had a ball! Thanks so much for organising a great event and thanks to the marshals, jellybean and drinks distributors and soup kitchen folk. Sue Blaikie

Good conditions and a record entry

By Roger Childs

P1050639Breezy, dry conditions on Sunday 25 May proved ideal for the third running of the In the Footsteps of the Marines event. The course roughly follows a route march used by the Marines in 1942-3 which is vividly described in Leon Uris’s novel Battle Cry.

Entries were up slightly on last year, with the online option very popular. However, we were prepared for a rush of late entries and that’s exactly what we got!  Race Secretary Pam Childs said. 162 runners and walkers completed the demanding 13.4 km course which included the hills east of Mackays Crossing and featured sealed and unsealed roads, clay and bush tracks, and a farm road through the site of Camp Mackay to the finish beside the Whareroa shelter.

This year there was a new grade for social walkers and slower runners and this proved popular, attracting 78 starters. First home in this race was 2013 competitor, Marine Scott Boylan, who is currently on vacation in New Zealand. He finished in a time of 1hour 18 minutes.

andrew smith on track (2)Let’s hear it for the winners!

There were new winners in the runners’ race with Kapiti fitness identity, Andrew Smith (pictured alongside with about 1km to go), taking out the men’s section comfortably in 55.41. Having been third last year, he completed this year’s race 49 seconds faster. Andrew said it’s a great event and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Second place went to Jaimie Sherlock in 56.45 and Phil Calder took third in 58.05.  The winner in 2012 and 2013, Craig Edwards, is now focusing on cycling but still finished a creditable 7th in a time of 59.38. The first junior home was thirteen year old Jed Maud in an impressive 1.08.54.


KateRunning and Tri Club Captain Kate Jenkins (pictured alongside on the Maungakotukutuku Hill), was first woman in 1.05.15 an improvement of 31 seconds over her previous best. Second place went to Jane Barratt in 1.07.34 and Michaela Walton took third in 1.08.49. Fourteen year old Isabella Maud was first junior home in the women’s field with the very good time of 1.14.46




NadineGreat Forest Marathon walking champion, Nadine Yorker, showed a clean pair of heels in the race walk, winning in a time of 1.34.43, a five minute improvement on last year.  First man home was Kapiti Joggers and Walkers stalwart, Dougal Cable, in 1.40.10. Dean Harrison was second male and third overall, in a time of 1.49.37. Second and third amongst the women were Judy Kennedy in 1.50.06 and Liffet Stewart in 1.51.34.  Jack McAllister came home in 1.50.08 to take third place for the men.

Very positive feedback

Participants in the event were very enthusiastic about the experience. They enjoyed the challenge of the climbs, the variety of the countryside, the different textures under their feet and the wonderful views on the way down into Whareroa Farm.

P1050587Please convey a special thanks to those little scouts and their friends who gave us the jelly beans and drinks and encouraging words “you are doing well”.
 Fantastic, a bit tired and sore but a day to remember.
Exceptionally well run. Thanks for putting together a special event.
A good day had by all. Thanks for organizing. 
Had a ball! Thanks so much for organising a great event and thanks to the marshals, jellybean and drinks distributors and soup kitchen folk. 
(The photo above shows Pam Childs, the Race Secretary, on the right, with fellow Kapiti  Jogger Sarah Swann at registration.)

The after event gathering in the Tramway Building proved very popular and hungry finishers  tucked into the hot soup, rolls and bananas with relish. Over 40% of competitors also picked up a spot prize.

A  successful fundraiser for Kapiti organisations

P1050592Once again the event has raised money for local causes and groups. The Whareroa Guardians, Wellington Free Ambulance, SPCA, Tramway Museum and Kapiti US Marines Trust will be amongst the beneficiaries. Donations will also be made to the Raumati Scouts who did sterling service on the drink stations, and to the Kapiti Running and Tri Club and Raumati School who provided gear.

Kapiti Joggers and Walkers are very grateful for the sponsorship of the Print Room, cityfitness, Pak’N Save and R-Line, and the many local businesses and individuals who provided spot prizes. The support of the Department of Conservation and the Kapiti District Council to use tracks and roads was much appreciated.

ScottBecoming an institution

In the Footsteps of the Marines is now well established on the Kapiti sporting calendar. With a ten year concession granted by the Department of Conservation to use tracks in Whareroa Farm for the last section of the race, the event is set to become a regular feature in late May.  Marine Scott Boylan, pictured alongside, is one of many who have competed in 2013 and 2014.

( Photographs by David McCrone,  David Daniel and Gavin Klee. Click to  enlarge.)