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2009 Wellington Road Champs Trentham Sat 22 Aug (This set was removed on 30 Aug 2010)

They're a happy clan at Scottish Athletic
By PENNY MILES - Dominion Post 22 Aug 2009

They're a happy clan at Scottish Athletic All set up for a big tribal league clash A child refugee still on the run Phoenix back four bracing for speedsters Five on the rise Price's workload comes under scrutiny Young Ferns coach confident McAlister keeping cool Unwanted ABs hint at switch A world running boom has been reflected locally with a surge in memberships at Wellington Scottish Athletic Club.

More than 500 members of all ages wear the distinctive yellow singlet and revel in the club's camaraderie, says marathon champion Lotty Turnidge.

Turnidge joined Scottish five years ago when she shifted from Suffolk, England, and immersed herself in the club. Her marathon times improved radically as she trained with club members such as evergreen distance runner Bernie Portenski and Olympian Anne Hare.

"The marathons I did in the UK, I did four hours, but here I've just broken three hours, and that's from running with good quality runners like Bernie Portenski," Turnidge said.

There is depth in the men's membership, with about 30 runners who can post 34 minutes over 10km. Scottish have been overall champion at five of the last six national road relay championships.

Road race champion Grant McLean said the family-friendly atmosphere was one of the club's secrets. A creche organised by volunteers caters for parents wanting to join the weekly Saturday bunch runs.

"It's that critical mass that we have in the club now that adds depth. We cater for everyone, the general runner as well."

Coaches volunteer their skills, and cross-country champion Rees Buck mentors up-and-coming runners such as Stefan Smith.

"You have to remember they have fulltime jobs and families, and they run, and they still coach. So they've always got time for you," Turnidge said.

Scottish also recruits talented school students, the latest bunch including Wellington junior champions Ariana Harper, Nicole Mitchell and Ben Barry.

The club is hosting today's Wellington road race championships at Trentham, a qualifier for next month's national championships in Dunedin.

Glen Hughes, who has been cleared for the world mountain running championships, returns from injury today. Other men's title contenders are Buck, Smith, Hamish Carson and Terefe Ejigu.

Vickie Humphries (Wellington Harriers), Gabrielle O'Rourke, Erin Whitla and Stephanie MacKenzie will chase the women's title.