2 Mar 1999"Winners: Marisa Pentecost and Brent Foster"

  • St Helier's Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 1000 metre
  • |
  • Run: 4 kilometre

As was fitting for the 75th Stroke & Stride of all time, this event was held with the best conditions of the season to date. For the first time in months the winds in Auckland swung around from the easterly quarter to a gentle offshore breeze which therefore presented competitors with a much welcomed flat course for the 1000 metre swim.

Marisa Pentecost turned up the heat and broke away from the pack half way through the swim leg and was the only female to go under 13 minutes for the swim. Marisa exited the water with a more than handy 30 second lead over Debbie Tanner and Naomi Calder, with another 10 seconds back to Kirsty Whiting.

Defending Series Champion Heidi Alexander was looking at an 80 second deficit as she started out on the 4 kilometre run. Marisa Pentecost wasn’t waiting for anyone on the journey to Mission Bay and back and actually extended her lead over her closest chasers to cross the line for her second victory of the season. Heidi Alexander recorded the fastest run split of the night and got within metres of Marisa as they turned and ran up the beach but was forced to settle for second this time out.

Debbie Tanner and Kirsty Whiting had a great battle for third with Debbie using all her years of experience to hold out Kirsty by just 2 seconds at the line.

Naomi Calder was next home in fifth place grabbing some more of those valuable Grand Prix points.

Would Brent Foster be able to match our female victor and lead from start to finish? Sure can. From the start when he swam a different line to the first buoy than most of the other men he immediately got his nose in front. By the end of the swim 11 minutes 30 seconds later it was more than his nose it was a whole half a minute lead he had over William Green who was alone in second.

Returning for this race was the New Zealand Swim/Run Champion from 1995, Jared Letica who was expected to pressure the front runners. Jared had an excellent swim and was handily placed going out onto the run but even the fastest run of the day wasn’t going to catch the flying Brent Foster as he recorded his 6th win of this Series. Jared did pass everyone else and had a fine return to Stroke & Stride with his second placing ahead of William Green and his young compatriots, Clark Ellice and Chris Williams as they continued their battle for Grand Prix points.

So with one race to go things are definitely hotting up in the contest to gain points to finish in the money in the Series Grand Prix. Whether Heidi Alexander and Brent Foster have already done enough to win themselves another Series title? Well, I’ll let you do the maths on that one. Marisa Pentecost’s return to winning form this season sees her challenging Heidi at every turn while William Green and Rodney Gordon will resume their rivalry when they clash again at Race #8 on March 16.

Male

1

Brent Foster

25m 34s

2

Jared Letica

26   17

3

Will Green

26   45

4

Clark Ellice

27   16

5

Chris Williams

27   25

6

Malcolm McGregor

27   48

7

Bruce Odams

28   02

8

Stuart Blake

28   04

9

James Elvery

28   08

10

Jonathon Counsell        GBR

28   13

11

Paul Angland

28   14

12

Steven Nicholls

28   19

13

Simon Geach

28   26

14

Dennis Wakefield

28   32

15

Richard Harding

29   10

Female

1

Marisa Pentecost

29m 11s

2

Heidi Alexander

29 15

3

Debbie Tanner

30 19

4

Kirsty Whiting

30 21

5

Naomi Calder

30 46

6

Nicole Cope

31 11

7

Nicola de Lautour

31 49

8

Katie Bennett

31 59

9

Sione Jongstra        NED

32 15

10

Louise Boulanger

32 33

11

Vanessa Palmer

33 16

12

Desiree McCarthy

33 19

13

Kathleen Pearce

33 22

14

Brooke Pattle

33 28

15

Jade Gilbertson

33 56

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