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Sunday 24 September 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Athletics, Sports


Australian runner claims 31km race
Hawaiian runner Mariana Lowy is all smiles as she wraps up her 31km run round Raro in 2:34:18 to claim the first woman home award. Photo by TABBY BERG/23092405

The 2023 BSP Round Rarotonga Road Race winner Kit Edwards kept event organisers on their toes when he blitzed the weekend’s 31 kilometre run in gusty conditions to take out the event in 1 hour and 51 minutes!

From Darwin, Australia, Edwards left everyone in his dust catching all off guard with a smashing pace from start to finish. So fast he was heading back to Darwin before tonight’s awards!

Although not a record smasher, which still stands at 1 hour 38 minutes and 14 seconds set in 1979 by Kiwi runner Kevin Ryan, still Edwards’ under two-hour finish time is the fastest in the last 27 years of the 46 years the event has run.

2023 BSP Round Rarotonga Road Race winner Kit Edwards blitzed the 31km course round Rarotonga in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes before dashing home to Darwin, Australia. Photo by TABBY BERG/23092404

Asked what he had for pre-race breakfast, “Just a breakfast muesli bar,” he said immediately after the race still full of vim and vigour!

Goes to show you should always eat your breakfast!

Second across the line and on island for work duties, Kiwi policeman Brendon Keenan put up a good chase to clock in at time 2:14:01.

Third overall and first local to finish the race was Andrew Logan showing great form to finish in 02:15:05.

Sprinting to the finish behind the first four men across the line to claim the women overall title was Mariana Low of Hawaii finishing with a massive winner’s smile!

Event naming sponsor Bank South Pacific country manager David Street finished sixth overall in a time of 02:36:35 – shaving off over five minutes of his 2022 time!

Derren Hutchinson of New Zealand took out the overall Round Raro Road Race 31km walk in an impressive 3 hours and 39 minutes.

In fact – the whole Round Raro Road Race wrapped up with all 243 runners and walkers crossing the finish line under 6 hours – over 2 hours ahead of the official 8 hours cut off point!

Turama Pacific Travel agent Jacopo Dozzo celebrate fellow Italian friend Giovanni Troiano finishing the race in 03:1051. Photo by TABBY BERG/23092408

In the 10km race, reigning local 10km champ of both the Round Rarotonga Road Race and Aitutaki Marathon, Rupeni Mataitoga retained the title in 40 minutes flat. He had some hot competition in Kiwi runner Cam Karwowski who was 2 minutes and 40 seconds behind him to claim second.

In third place overall to claim the women title in the 10km runner was young Jessica McKenzie with an epic sprint finish and local based Scarlet Barnes claiming first local and second woman home in a time of 43 minutes and 03 seconds.

Christine Hosking was the fastest of the walkers with a time of 01:13:36 while local Sally Malcolm claimed second overall and first local woman home.

In all, the 46th instalment of the 2023 BSP Round Rarotonga Road Race was another great success with funds raised from registration fees from both international and local runners go to Athletics Cook Islands for its ongoing junior development programme which includes sending local talent to compete overseas gaining both experience and awards to top placements.

Blake Buxton thrilled to be finishing his 31km race in the top 10 finishers. Photo by TABBY BERG/23092407

The 2024 BSP Round Rarotonga Road Race will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2024 – and the registrations for this event will be open within the next week so you can register nice and early and not after the cut off date!

Huge meitaki maata and congratulations to Bank South Pacific for the generous support to not only keep the iconic Round Rarotonga Road Race running but also contributing to the positive future and growth of our Cook Islands community through sports.

  • Matariki Wilson / Nuti Turama