By Roger Childs
Kapiti woman blitzes the field
Kapiti Running and Tri Club athlete, Jo Johansen, won the annual Koputaroa Half Marathon last Sunday in a time of 1 hour 24 minutes. The two lap course in the countryside north of Levin is challenging, and includes many undulations.
Never before in the history of the event has a woman won overall. Jo was in a front group of three after the first kilometre, but by the end of the first lap had a healthy lead which she never relinquished.
Jo, who works for Stirling Sports in Coastlands, is in her first season with the Kapiti Running and Tri Club. She has improved steadily during the year and turned in many impressive performances:
- second woman in the Footsteps of the Marines race in May
- sixth in the Wellington Cross Country open women’s event
- fastest time overall in the club’s Paremata Handicap
- third in the September 29 km Mukamuka Munter event over a rugged 29km course.
In this gruelling event in the Orongorongos, she would have been first woman if she hadn’t taken a wrong turn near the end. In a generous gesture, the female winner gave Jo the first prize.
Other Kapiti runners and walkers do well
Kapiti runners and walkers were well represented in the Levin events, which ranged from 5km to half marathon. Waikanae chemist, Paul Binkhorst, won the quarter marathon in 45m.57s and Rob Willetts completed the distance in 59 minutes. Dougal Cable was fifth in the half marathon walk in a time of 2.37.17.
There were five entrants in the quarter marathon walk from the Kapiti Joggers and Walkers. David Humfrey (pictured), was the first home in fifth place overall. Sandra Smith, Mary Hadfield, Ann Benney and Pam Childs also completed the demanding course.
In the half marathon run, the Kapiti Running and Tri Club had three other finishers: Kate Jenkins 1.41, Roger Childs 1.49 and Bruce Jenkins 1.54.
Conditions for the Koputaroa event were very good with fine weather and light winds.
(Photo of Jo Johansen in the Wellington Cross Country Championships by Sharon Wray.)