16 Feb 2000"Winners: Joanna Lawn and Brent Foster"

  • St Helier's Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 500 metre
  • |
  • Run: 5 kilometre
Brent Foster Clark Ellice

Stroke & Stride Race #6 saw competitors line up for the 500 metre swim followed by the 5 kilometre run on another fine and warm Auckland summer’s evening. This mix of distances is always expected to favour the runners in the field and while the swim portion of the race only makes up 20 to 30 percent of a competitors total time, as in every Stroke & Stride, every second counts. So whether you’re attempting to make a break from the opposition or stay in contact with that bunch just in front of you, one thing is certain, you’ve got to turn it up to maximum volume for every stroke of those 500 metres. That extra effort during the swim doesn’t make the start of the run any easier for anyone but at least you have the luxury of the next 5 kilometres to settle into your stride.

Rebecca Nesbit is making a habit of leading the women’s field around the buoys and again she was first to exit the water in a time of 6m 23s. Next in was Marisa Carter 6m 35s and that opened the floodgates for a procession of top contenders including: Kirsty Whiting 6m 43s, Elen Clarke 6m 46s, Hayley Swaving 6m 50s, Naomi Calder 6m 50s, Vanessa Palmer 6m 53s, Heidi Alexander 7m 05s, Joanna Lawn 7m 12s, Anna Elvery 7m 31s, Julia Cree 7m 42s, Jade Gilbertson 7m 50s, Julia Scopes 8m 15s, Marion Thiel 8m 17s and Josie Sinclair 8m 35s.

The out and back run to Mission Bay shuffled the deck considerably and on the return to St Heliers it was Joanna Lawn, with the fastest run split of the night, that had elevated herself to the front of the field and ran up the beach to record her first ever Stroke & Stride victory. Resuming their fortnightly duel were the leading contenders for the Series Championship Marisa Carter and Heidi Alexander who finished second and third. Kirsty Whiting backed up her great swim with an equally good run to take fourth while Vanessa Palmer’s superb season just keeps on getting better with her first ever top five finish.

Perennial favourite Brent Foster got away from the men’s field recording a scintillating 5m 49s for the swim leg which placed him eleven seconds ahead of Daniel Pritchard and with a further five seconds back to Robbie Baff and Dean Foster. Also on hand for this event and handily placed after the swim was the international athlete Mike Trees, originally from England but now hailing from Japan recording 6m 26s, and local running sensations Liam Scopes 6m 50s and Rodney Gordon 7m 05s.

All would be looking to put pressure on Brent Foster out on the run course. Five kilometres later it was Mike Trees who got the closest but Brent Foster was again all class as he recorded his fifth straight win of the season. Liam Scopes’ golden summer continues with his sensational top three finish. Rodney Gordon loves these distances and chased hard all day snatching fourth place just ahead of James Elvery who grabbed more of those valuable points to lift him into the top five in the Series Grand Prix.

Eight male and eight female athletes have now passed the 40 point threshold in the PHASE Grand Prix which means no matter what the results in the final two events they’re already assured of a share of the cash and prizes up for grabs. Of course to win the Stroke & Stride Series is one of the most difficult and prestigious titles to attain in sport and at this stage it’s our past Series Champions Marisa Carter 1993/94 and Brent Foster 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/1997 and 1998/1999 with their grip most firmly on the silverware as we decide our first Series of the year 2000.

Photos from: Greg Paul Photography



Brent Foster

22m 10s


Mike Trees        ENG

22 54


Liam Scopes

23 33


Rodney Gordon

23 39


James Elvery

23 41


Dean Foster

23 51


Clark Ellice

24 13


Samuel Walker

24 20


Steve Nicholls

24 29


Stuart Blake

24 51


Oliver Tompkins

24 56


Dennis Wakefield

25 43


Chris Ritchie

25 49


Brendon Downey

25 52


Davide Bruno        ITA

25 59



Joanna Lawn

26m 03s


Marisa Carter

26 33


Heidi Alexander

26 57


Kirsty Whiting

27 16


Vanessa Palmer

27 50


Naomi Calder

27 54


Julia Scopes

28 05


Josie Sinclair

28 22


Rebecca Nesbit

28 31


Hayley Swaving

28 38


Elen Clarke

28 51


Jade Gilbertson

29 12


Julia Cree

29 19


Marion Thiel        GER

29 52


Meagan Stewart

30 09

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