Burne retains her Mount queen title

Olivia Burne taking part in the King and Queen of the Mountain race in Mount Maunganui. Supplied photos.

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Auckland’s Olivia Burne is once again Queen of the Mountain after successfully defending her title in Mount Maunganui.

The Mount Maunganui King and Queen of the Mountain race proudly celebrated its 75th edition on Boxing Day.

Read about the event’s history here.

Bobby Dean, Te Puke, and Daniel Jones, Wellington Scottish, delivered a race to remember for the 75th King of Mount Maunganui, says the event organisers.

“Dean dominated on the climb to the summit holding a 17 second lead over Jones and the descent the gravel surface.

“Jones, the record holder and trying to extend his wins to eight, made a bid on the beach to retain his title, whittling away at previous two time winner Dean.

“With the tide high, runners were forced into soft sand above the high tide mark with Dean holding a 50 metre lead on to the beach.

“As Jones made his bid while Dean was unaware of the closing gap. Dean held a lead of 4 tents of a second for the closest finish for victory in the 75 years of the race.”

The tough conditions saw Dean recording 19m 40s to Jones 19m 41s.

A closer check of times saw both watches record time differences of 36/100 and 44/100 of a second.

Liam Dooley, Whakatane, was third across the line in 20m 27s and led a group of six Under 20 runners in Ian Pugh, Tauranga. 20m 50s, Matt Hill, Tauranga, 21m 8s, Ben Hennessy, Tauranga 21m 26s, Casey Thorby, Rotorua 21m 42s, Joe Mortimer, Tauranga 21m 54s. Daniel Jones holds the race record at 18m 32s set in 2015.

Olivia Burne, Auckland, 22m 57s, retained her Queen of the Mountain title for the third year in a row leading home New Zealand Cross Country champion Kerry White of Papamoa who recorded 24m 31s, with Michelle Ashley, Wellington, 27m 52s third.

“Burne holds the race record at 21m 41s set in 2020.

“Anna Berthelsen, Tauranga, was first Masters Woman 35-49, 27m 37s while Michelle Rail, Mount Maunganui was first Masters Woman 50 plus.”

Iain MacDonald, Rotorua, 22m 14s was first Masters Man 35-49 with Gary Forman, Tauranga, 26m 45s being first Masters Man 50 plus.

Results: https://www.sporty.co.nz/asset/downloadasset?id=316696bc-a386-461d-8f35-3b8929e2869a

Special guests on the day were Daphne Friis, a long time organiser from 1949 to mid-1980’s along with Lloyd Christie, Athletics Tauranga Inc (Tauranga Rammblers) Patron and Bruce Trebilco of Smiths Sports Shoes presented prizes.


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