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High-flying former West Coast
endurance athlete Ruth Croft has
won another tough one on the
Competing in the Mount
Kinabalu Climbathon in Borneo at
the weekend, Croft took the elite
women’s title in a time of five hours
and one minute.
Runner-up, Claire Milsom-Price
from Great Britain, finished in just
over five and a half hours.
In the first section of the race to
the summit Croft blitzed the field in
a time of 2:36.33; the next best time
was 3:05.07 by Milsom-Price.
In the summit race, athletes run
to the 4095.2m mountaintop, then
down the other side. The course is
33km long — 15km on a road and
18km of forest trails, with the rock
face at the summit.
Runners had to qualify for the
summit race, with only 40 elite
women taking part and 110 elite
Mount Kinabalu is one of the
tallest mountains in South-East
Asia and is situated in the Kinabalu
National Park in the province
of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo.
Thousands of tourists visit Kinabalu
National Park each year and most
come with the intention of climbing
Originally from Stillwater, Croft
is now based in Taiwan. Her parents
are Frank and Clare Croft, of
Croft ’s Transport.
Prior to her latest effort, Croft
won the Mount Fuji Trail Race
to the top of Japan’s famous peak,
and before that she put in a top
performance in the Tenzing-Hillary
Everest ultra-marathon, in Nepal.
Croft will be returning to New
Zealand early next year and intends
to compete in the 100km Mount
Tarawera Ultra Race.
Twenty-five years after the then
Greymouth mayor Barry Dallas
told Arthur Foster he could
motorcycle street race, the races
are going stronger than ever.
Reflecting on how it all began
in 1989, Foster, now 78, said
Dr Dallas had agreed to let him
close off the streets of downtown
Greymouth and hold the races,
on condition that he gave him
$100 for the Mayoral Fund.
“I agreed, and that year we
made $8000, so Barry got his
money for the fund.
“Unlike today, where the
streets are barricaded with safety
barriers and wire netting all the
way around the circuit, we used
to rope off the circuit,” Foster
There are more entries for the
25th anniversary race than last
year, with 106 entries so far.
Foster said the most entries
for the event was 130, however
Motorcycle New Zealand told
the organisers a few years ago
that numbers should be limited
to a little more than 100.
“After the first meeting
Motorcycle New Zealand also
told us not to change the
format because it was so
He also recalled that the very
first event was run in “atrocious”
“Not a soul was hurt, and that
safety record has continued over the
years,” Foster said.
Greymouth competitor Steve
Hyde, who is also in the organising
committee, said practice racing
would begin on Sunday from 8.30am
to 9am, with racing proper to follow
and run throughout the day until
Competitors were expected from all
over New Zealand, from Whanganui
in the north to Invercargill in the
Both Hyde and fellow veteran
Greymouth competitor Neville
Hughes are looking forward to
racing in the event.
Hyde said he and Hughes had
competed in the race 17 times over
“I ’ve managed a third place in the
formula 3 racing and Neville has
bagged a third in the post-classics
Glen Morgan, who was involved
in organising the early races, said
the event owed its success to a good
committee, and everyone working as
He always felt it was going to last
because the committee had adapted
with the times and improved safety
over the years.
Morgan will not be there this year,
but his bike will be, ridden by Kane
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Up and coming rugby referee,
Greymouth’s John Whitcombe, has
been named in the Canterbury Referee
Whitcombe, who is studying law and art
history at Canterbury University this year,
has been blowing the referee’s whistle
since he was just 14 and has refereed
many schoolboy rugby matches around
the West Coast.
He told the Greymouth Star yesterday
he was “excited ” about being named in the
“It means I will get time with the top
referees in Christchurch and hopefully
will be mentored by one of them.”
Last season he was busy on the rugby
fields of Christchurch, both as a player
and a referee. He refereed games in the
morning and played in the afternoon.
Whitcombe also officiated at under-15
games in the Canterbury competition and
some representative age-group games.
He was an assistant referee (touch
judge) in a number of Heartland rugby
matches, including last weekend’s Lahore
Cup semi-final between North Otago and
South Canterbury, in Timaru.
Whitcombe has a meeting with the
development team next month and
expects to begin off-season training,
including fitness work, soon after that.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Steve Hyde, left, and Neville Hughes who have each competed 17 times in the Greymouth Street Races and are primed
again for the 25th event this Sunday.
Veterans primed for
25th street race
PICTURE: Bill Phillips
John Whitcome runs the
line at the last West Coast
home match against Thames
Whitcombe in Canterbury
refs development squad
Ruth Croft after crossing the finish line to win the Mount Kinabalu
Croft conquers Mt Kinabalu Climbathon
03 769 7920
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