The annual Madame Rouge Cross Country run was held in the Onetangi ‘Valley of Vines’ last Sunday, raising funds for the Waiheke High School Scholastic Trust.

Usually held on the first Saturday of the year, the run was delayed a day after last week’s storm made the track hazardous in places. Organisers worked all Saturday to re-route the course around muddy and slippery patches and by Sunday morning the course was back in pristine condition.

Entries were fewer this year, probably because of the storm and because the Waiheke Coast to Coast walk was held the day before, says race organiser Barnett Bond. But Dr Bond says feedback from the runners was uniformly positive.

The course also had some changes to include for the first time Tantalus Vineyard and Sophie Sterry and Gavin Smith’s organic honey farm.

The biggest challenge came near the end of the race with the climb to the top of Stony Ridge on the Obsidian property.

The new 18km race was won by Felicity Halloran from New South Wales, Australia, in a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Race organisers thank Waiheke High School prefects Carlo, Nina, Kate, Catlin, Will, Kayla, Georgia, Arno and Betty for marshalling the event. They also thank Onetangi valley vineyards and landowners for providing access over their properties.

Casita Miro sponsored the event and provided the prizes and staff.

All winners and second and third place getters received either Rebel Sports vouchers or Casita Miro lunch vouchers worth $100 or $50. There were also some spot prizes.

The “Monty Prize” this year again went to Monty Bailey who is now eight and ran the course in 67min, 36sec. •

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