Auckland-based chef Ciaran Faherty hopes he has all the ingredients in place to cook up a victory in the men’s elite race at the 2016 ASB Auckland Marathon.
The Irish-born runner, who only took up the sport seriously after relocating to live in New Zealand in 2014, has enjoyed a meteoric rise and has quickly developed into one of the leading distance athletes on the domestic scene.
At the turn of the year, the 28-year-old Faherty switched jobs from working at a leading Parnell restaurant to a Mt Eden café to allow him more time to focus on his running and the move appears to have paid dividends.
“It was a gamble, I stepped up from running 100km to 190km a week but so far I have adapted well,” says Faherty, who has claimed marathons wins in New Plymouth and Wellington this year, recording a stunning new PB of 2:22 at the former event in March.
Now the two-time winner of the New South Wales Chefs Tables Cooking Award is targeting victory in the ASB Auckland Marathon – a race close to the heart of the adopted Aucklander, who cites Cornwall Park and The Domain as two of his favourite training routes.
“The Auckland Marathon has been my goal race all year,” explains Faherty, who ran 2:48 on his race debut in 2014 and who last year placed fifth in the elite men’s race in a time of 2:30. “I just love to be involved in a city marathon, which creates a great atmosphere. I love the EXPO and all of that and I have a special motivation for this year’s race as my dad, Eamonn, is coming over from Ireland to watch me.”
Among Faherty’s chief opposition will be Auckland’s national cross country champion Jono Jackson, who will also be desperate to clinch victory in his home marathon and go one better than last year when runner-up behind Aaron Pulford.
Look out too for New Zealand half-marathon champion Oska Inkster-Baynes as the 25-year Christchurch-based runner seeks to make an impact on his full marathon debut.
In the women’s elite race, Kelly Parlane will be hoping to use her local knowledge to climb the top of the podium and complete the full trifecta of results in the ASB Auckland Marathon.
Third in 2013 and second last year the marketing and digital technologist for Britomart said: “I’ve done a few marathons where I’ve had to travel and for various reasons I haven’t run well. The Auckland marathon being my home marathon eliminates many of those other factors and it is great to have an event right outside my front door. I train on the Waterfront almost every day. On a still day, I love running along Tamaki Drive and I really like running in Cornwall Park.”
Last year Kelly had the benefit of running alongside her brother, Alex, a former New Zealand cross country international, and although her younger sibling will not be present this year she Is once again hopeful of a prominent showing.
“I hope to have a good run and enjoy the experience,” she explains.
Among her chief opposition will be fellow Kiwi Nicole Goldsmid, who earlier this year set a PB of 2:47 when winning the Manawatu Striders Marathon. The 27-year-old from Feilding was a former New Zealand representative swimmer but after making a successful switch to running she will be among the favourites in Auckland.
Also looking to make their mark will be Auckland-based Australian Margie Atthow, a former middle-distance runner, who with a PB of 2:52 has made a successful transition to marathon running. Her compatriot Elizabeth Pittaway finished third in the 2015 ASB Auckland Marathon and after recording a 2:51 time to run the Gold Coast Marathon in July, she too will be a factor.
Auckland’s Katie Wyrill (2:57) is also entered and is another with podium aspirations.
Among the key contenders in the Barfoot & Thompson Half-Marathon is rising teenage talent Michael Voss. The 19-year-old from Reporoa revealed his outstanding pedigree by winning a bronze medal at the New Zealand Half-Marathon Championships earlier this year and will one to keep a close eye on for the future.
Among his main opposition will be reigning New Zealand 10km road champion Daniel Balchin of Christchurch.
In the women’s elite Barfoot & Thompson half-marathon, World University Games 5000m silver medallist Camille Buscomb will be the woman to beat as the Hamilton-based athlete seeks a hat-trick of 21.1km victories in the Auckland event. Also competing is Katie Kemp (Wellington Scottish), who triumphed in the elite women’s full marathon 12 months ago.
ASB Run Down The Rate
The elites will be running for something more than the title at next weekend’s race, thanks to ASB Run Down The Rate (RDTR). ASB’s Run Down The Race competition gifts 10 Kiwis a market-leading home loan rate to match the winning time at next weekend’s ASB Auckland Marathon. RDTR was open to Kiwis across the country, and creates a two-year fixed home loan rate based on the fastest 2016 ASB Auckland Marathon finish time. If the winning race time is 2 hours 21 minutes, 10 winners will receive a two-year fixed home loan rate of 2.21%p.a. The faster the race, the lower the home loan interest rate – it’s that simple.