St Peter’s School student Charli Miller is looking to stamp her mark on the 6km Secondary School Challenge at this year’s Round the Bridges.
At just 13-years-old, Charli had won six consecutive 2km Kids Challenge events at the annual Hamilton fun run. Now 14 and in her first year of high school, she will race against her secondary school peers in the 6km Secondary School Challenge.
And from the season she has been having so far, the Editor’s Trophy, which will be awarded to the first-placed female, is definitely within her grasp.
During this winter season Charli has managed to claim four national titles – winning two age-group cross country events, as well as the New Zealand Road Running and Duathlon under 15 girls’ titles.
Although she has already experienced an incredibly successful year, taking out Round the Bridges would be the icing on the cake.
“I’ve won a couple of big titles which I think is really good but I’m really looking forward to going back to Round the Bridges because it’s a yearly thing that I really look forward to,” she says.
The 6km event will be a big step up from her usual 2km race but Charli is looking forward to the challenge.
“The 2km race was definitely a good hard run but I’m excited for the 6km race,” she says.
As well as aiming to win the individual award, Charli is also looking to help her school claim the Secondary School Challenge Trophy which is awarded to the high school that boasts the fastest cumulative time across its top four students.
As a new year nine student at St Peter’s, Charli is really looking forward to representing her school and running alongside her teammates. Her biggest challenge will be her competition from Waikato Diocesan.
“All of the other schools are pretty good but I’d probably say Dio would be my biggest challenge because it has a lot of strong runners my age and a little bit older.”
Last year Waikato Diocesan student Grace Ritchie was the first female to finish the 6km event, coming first in the u20 women’s age group category.
Charli came in second with a time of 24:52, exactly one minute after Grace and after already blitzing the 2km Kids Challenge beforehand.
With just one race to focus on this year, Charli plans on giving the older competitors a good run for their money.
Established by the Hamilton Harrier Club (Hamilton City Hawks) in 1945, Round the Bridges has become Waikato’s largest annual running event and will be held in the Hamilton CBD on Sunday November 13, 2016. Attracting more than 5500 participants, Round the Bridges will see runners and walkers take on 2km (kids only), 6km and 12km courses. Catering to all ages and abilities, Round the Bridges is an event the entire family can enjoy.