2021 Aitutaki Marathon winner David Street executes his trademark ‘jumping fist-pump’ finish line crossing using the last of his energy stores after spending just over 4 hours running across the paradise island of Aitutaki. PHOTO: Matariki Wilson. 21032828
In his solo marathon run across the paradise island of Aitutaki, runner David Street highlighted that sometimes the sweetest victories are beating personal goals over opponents.
With a stiff breeze, the ticking clock and
personal support Ted Tavai leading the way, the BSP country manager David
Street set out to better his previous Aitutaki Marathon Pursuit in Paradise
time 4:33:55 hours.
Encountering enthusiastic local volunteer aid
station marshals, Street set a blistering pace criss-crossing Aitutaki island
before his emphatic finish line ‘jumping fist-pump’ crossing in a time of
No doubt David wanted to smash off more than
46 seconds off his previous time however he commented later at the event prize
giving that the marathon course reversal from previous years had not made the
marathon any less of a gruelling.
“I encourage you to take on the marathon – it
is challenging so you will need to prepare for it, but it will be worth it,” he
Meanwhile in the shorter course races of the
marathon, five runners and walkers set out to achieve their personal goals
across the half marathon.
Four athletes set out first, with the islands
new doctor Ye Zaw Moe allowed to start six minutes after the pack after looking
after his patients in hospital.
Overall winner of the 21km, Aitutaki based
Sherid Carter, had set herself the goal of clocking in a sub 2-hour time and
she was clearly thrilled when she crossed the finish line in 1:59:22.
Anna Glassie still looked fresh as she crossed
the line in 2:47:00 to finish second place with the island’s doctor Moe taking
third place with a time of 3:30:11 and ticking up his 21km race as the start of
his training to take on the full 42km marathon race next year.
Husband and wife walking team Tony Wearing and
Kathy Numanga-Wearing had selfless goals on their minds using their inclusion
in the Aitutaki Marathon as a platform to raise awareness and funds to support
the work of the Cook Islands Down Syndrome Association.
The real race competition was in the 10km
course where 18 Rarotonga and Aitutaki athletes with varying race goals from
winning outright, setting a new race record to just completing their first ever
Impressive Aitutaki based athletes Dani Adendorff (left) and Joshua Oraki show off their finishers medals after placing 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 10km race. PHOTO: Matariki Wilson/ 21032831
All the goals were achieved with
Rarotonga-based Fiji born and trained runner Rupeni Mataitoga carving up the
short course to set a blistering new race record of 42:14 minutes to lift the
10km winner’s trophy.
Hot on his heels were impressive Aitutaki
athletes in fitness instructor Dani Adendorff who finished in 52:56 and her
young charge Joshua Orika who took out third place in 56:15.
While the trio took top honours in the short
course, age grade race placers received certificates for their amazing efforts
– the real winners are the people and island of Aitutaki who were 100 per cent
behind the event and were magic hosts.
Aitutaki Marathon event managers from the
Turama Pacific Travel Group are humbled and grateful for the financial support
from principal event sponsor Bank South Pacific (BSP) along with Tourism Cook
Islands, Vodafone, Toa Moana Outrigger Club and Air Rarotonga.
Last but not least, meitaki atupaka to all the
competitors that supported this local event especially to the Aitutaki athletes
for taking ownership of their island named event and to Rarotonga participants
who not only raced in Aitutaki but brought their wallets to help boost the
island economy in these times of global change.