THREE FOR NICK

THREE FOR NICK

OCEAN Grove local Nick Wightman said a last-minute decision to run in his Nike ‘racing flat’ shoes helped him claim his third 10km Rip to River title on Saturday.
Wightman, who won back–to-back 10km Rip to River crowns in 2010 and 2011, is referred to ‘barefoot Nick’ for his ability to run fast long-distance times on the cushy sands of Ocean Grove main beach.
This year, Wightman won the event in a time of 34 minutes and 13 seconds to finish ahead of second-placed Rowan Walker, who finished second in 35:15, and Shane Keddie, who came third in 37:41.
“I only decided 20 minutes before the race I will put my shoes on,” Wightman told the Voice.
“I hadn’t done quite as much barefoot running on the beach as I had in previous years.
“I will pull up better if I wear my shoes.
“I have got another race in six days’ time and will pull up a bit sore with a couple of blisters this year if I run barefoot.”
It was redemption for Wightman, who failed to make the podium in last season’s race when he finished in fourth spot in 34:31.
“It was a bit of tactical error by me and another guy and it sort of knocked me off the podium,” he said.
Conditions for 10km competitors were much tougher for Saturday’s race with a strong headwind affecting competitors.
“It was the strongest headwind I have ever ran the whole way, I was happy to get within a couple of minutes of my best time,” Wightman said.
Wightman will now compete in the 8km Mountain to Surf run this Friday in Lorne.
Mornington-based Sarah Klein defended her 10km Women’s Rip to River title in a time of 38 minutes and 3 seconds.
She finished ahead of Ocean Grove’s Sarah James, who came second in 38:18, and Natalie Mensch, who finished in third in 39:29.
Klein, 28, who completed last season’s race in time of 39:50, concedes she was in better physical condition for Saturday’s race.
“This year I am in better shape, I am a lot fitter than what I was last year,” Klein said.
IN the 5km event, youngster Mitchell Dyer won back-to-back Rip to River events in a time of 16:26 to beat second-placed local Michael Low in 16:58 and third-placed Chris Howley, who ran 17:18.
In the women’s 5km, East Geelong youngster Alex Mathisen won in a time of 19:33 to finish ahead of Liz Bell in 20:03 and third placed youngster Mimmi Balaam who came in 20:14.
The 10km walk saw Carole Fisher win in a time of 1:07:50 from last season’s Rip to River winner Merryn Dawborn-Gundlach who came second in 1:09:11 and third-placed Steve Jordan (1:11:17).
Star youngster Tom Hockley Samon won the 1.4km Ripper Nipper Beach Fun Run in a time of three minutes and eight seconds.
The 11-year-old crossed the finishing line ahead of Oliver Wiltshire (3.09) by one second and third-placed Lewis Antonac (3.16).

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared.