David Street celebrates after winning the 43rd Round Rarotonga Road Race in 2020. Picture: Tabby Robati-Berg/20092039
Rarotonga’s top long-distance runners are looking forward to the 46th Round Rarotonga Road Race tomorrow.
David Street, the 2020 and 2021 31-kilometre
winner, and the reigning 10km champion Rupeni Mataitoga are hoping for podium
finishes in this year’s event.
Street, who has completed the 31km race several
times now, says he enjoys the run and the atmosphere.
He said this year is no different, adding he is
looking forward to the challenge and to run a good time.
“A personal best is probably not likely this
year however you never know what can happen on the day,” Street said.
Last year he finished the 31km race in around
2 hours and 41 minutes. Street will be looking to beat this time on Saturday.
“First 31km race was in 2013 when we had just
arrived in the Cook Islands. Main reason was to do something to inspire my
colleagues and try to lift the morale, I had never run that far before.”
This year will mark his ninth 31km race
albeit not in consecutive order.
Street said he was lucky enough to win in 2020
and 2021 during Covid times, and gave credit to the organisers, the volunteers
and Cook Islands community for continuing the race despite no tourists given
the border closures.
He clocked 2:43:14 in 2021 and 2:35:22 in 2020.
Street also congratulated other participants
for getting this far, to the start line.
“Take it all in and just enjoy it whether it
be run or walk. If you have done the hard work and prepared highly likely you
will exceed your expectations,” he added.
Rupeni Mataitoga. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 23091522
Mataitoga is also hoping to do well in this
year’s Round Rarotonga Road Race.
The Fijian runner, who will represent the Cook
Islands at the upcoming Pacific Games, is keeping his fingers crossed as he
gears up to once again defend his title in the 10-kilometre event.
Mataitoga said he plans to once again clock
under 40 minutes and retain the title.
His time at the 2022 event was 39:36 minutes.
Over 80 runners and walkers will line up for the 31km
race around Rarotonga at 5.30am on Saturday morning. At 7.30am over 160 runners
and walkers will line up for the 10km race starting from the Moana Sands Lagoon
Resort in Tikioki.