ASICS Luxmore Grunt winners
The ASICS Luxmore Grunt was a battle between experience and youth. Stuart Doyle, 45, of Canberra, Australia, overtook to beat Troy McAlister, a year 12 Southland lad from Winton aged just 17. Doyle came in at 2:02:43, with McAlister at 2:04:17. Third was Richard Ford at 2:10:47.
McAlister was in the lead by about a minute at Luxmore Hut. Doyle thought he wasn’t going to catch McAlister on the downhill, but managed it towards the bottom of the hill. “I guess I just have more experience on the downhill, but McAlister will learn that,” said Doyle.
Doyle thanked the runners coming up the hill for keeping him informed about McAlister’s position. “I’m stuffed now but everyone was so encouraging and I got a second wind at the top – there are awesome views up there. It was a great atmosphere and now I’m off for icecream,” said Doyle.
Doyle’s girlfriend was doing the Kepler Challenge. Doyle said: “She’s tougher than me.”
Doyle, who has competed in the world mountain running championships, said the Grunt was the perfect length for him and that he was aided by a year’s consistent training.
McAlister said: “I’ve never run on such a big hill before and I am utterly thrilled to be second. My goal is to be in the Olympics triathlon.”
The first female in was Jess Simpson of Wanaka, in at 2:18:39 who was new to mountain running. She said: “It’s such a magical environment and the secret is to enjoy it – I just love running outside. The bush is incredible – unlike anywhere else I’ve ever run.”
Second female was Claire Corbett of Australia, in at 2:29:16 and third was Beth Cardelli of Sydney.
Local Te Anau farmer, Hamish McClean, 32, doing the grunt for the first time, was delighted to come in 11th, said: “I ‘m built like a greyhound and I wondered if I could run like one.”
The secret to winning the Grunt is clearly muesli and fruit: the breakfast of choice of both Doyle and Simpson.