20 Nov 2002"Winners: Nicole Cope and Brent Foster"

  • St Helier's Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 500 metre
  • |
  • Run: 5 kilometre

It is now tradition that the season opener in the Stroke & Stride Series be buffeted by high winds, this tradition extends back quite a few years and seasoned competitors expect nothing less than good storm to be blowing for their first race of the summer. The first event in this season’s Reesby & Company Stroke & Stride wasn’t going to disappoint with a howling southerly doing it’s best to send anything that wasn’t tied down across the harbour to Rangitoto Island. Fortunately for some, this offshore wind direction leaves the waters of St Heliers Bay relatively flat so the conditions for the 500 metre swim were not too testing for competitors. A different story out along Tamaki Drive for the 5 kilometre run with the same wind doing it’s best to knock you back in the tide at any of the exposed spots down the waterfront.

The women were granted the privilege of starting first and checking out the water temperature while the men huddled on the beach awaiting their start ten minutes later. Rebecca Nesbitt hardly seems to get wet as she flies around the course in a tick over 6 minutes but the short swim and smooth conditions doesn’t do much to break up the field and she was soon followed up the beach by Jillian Wood, Anna Cleaver, Debbie Tanner, Marisa Carter, Anna Elvery and Nicole Cope.

Brent Foster lead the men around the buoys and exited the swim in 5 minutes 46 seconds but his chasers still had him in sight as he headed out onto the run with the closest being James Elvery and also Oliver Tompkins, Malcolm McGregor and Clark Ellice handily placed.

Anna Cleaver lead the women’s field early in the run but after a couple of kilometres it was the strong running Nicole Cope who moved into the lead which she then extended to a 40 second advantage at the finish. Meanwhile Brent Foster wasn’t looking back as he followed up his swim by also registering the day’s fastest run spit to record yet one more Stroke & Stride victory.

Nicole and Brent’s contrasting style of win in the series opener is also reflected in these experienced competitors’ contrasting preparation for this summer’s Series. While Nicole stayed in New Zealand over the winter quietly training and honing her skills in swimming and running, Fozzie was strutting his stuff on the world stage, travelling to victories around the globe in exotic locations such as Xiaguan. Look that one up in your atlas. Also clocking up some air miles in the off season were James Elvery and Clark Ellice who have returned to the Stroke & Stride with some terrific form enabling them to grab second and third places ahead of Sam Walker and Malcolm McGregor. Anna Cleaver couldn’t match the speed of Nicole Cope out on the 5 kilometre run but was faster than all the rest finishing in second comfortably ahead of Debbie Tanner, Fiona Docherty and Nikki Wallwork.



Brent Foster

22m 06s


James Elvery

22 55


Clark Ellice

23 13


Sam Walker

23 46


Malcolm McGregor

23 55


Carl Cairns

24 29


Oliver Tompkins

24 41


Darragh Walshe

25 01


Samuel Murphy

25 33


David Bowden

25 47



Nicole Cope

24m 37s


Anna Cleaver

25 17


Debbie Tanner

26 10


Fiona Docherty

27 10


Nikki Wallwork

27 30


Anna Elvery

27 54


Carmel Hanly

28 11


Gayle Clark

28 14


Marisa Carter

28 32


Donna Churton

28 57

Horleys - quality sports nutrition Adidas Eyewear - perfect equipment for your eyes Turners & Growers - fresh bananas from Turners & Growers Habitual Fix - salads - sandwiches - wraps - smoothies Suunto - sports precision instruments Colour Scope Signs - helping your business reach its market Mad Mex - Donde esta your inner Mexican? Avanti - NZ's world-class bike brand Performance Bicycle Tuning - for the best ride In-Action - Body Maintenance & Repair Pucka - fuel for the body and mind Orakei Community Board - for the community Custom Paint & Restoration - for your car Maximarc - quality architectural design