Locals conquer Dovedale Hill


The annual Dovedale Hill Climb can be a bit of a challenge but on Saturday 64 locals answered the call, tackling the gut-buster run.

The steady but twisty 11.2km incline can be a bit of a mental challenge for some but Richmond’s Phil Costley ran the hill with ease, coming first in 41 minutes and 21 seconds.

Less than three minutes behind him were Simon Mardon and Pete Versey with only 28 seconds separating them.

The first female to cross the finish line was Nelson’s Olivia Bird with a time of 50 minutes and 19 seconds.

Race organiser Eileen Beattie says everyone enjoyed the race and it’s just a really nice run.

“It was a really good turn out, it was fabulous weather, the road condition was fantastic this year and it is so nice to finish in the sun up the top.”

Wakefield's Stuart Watts on his 33rd Dovedale Hill Climb. Photo: Brittany Spencer.
Wakefield’s Stuart Watts on his 33rd Dovedale Hill Climb.

The race has been running for over forty years and at the age of 72, local Stuart Watts is a veteran with 33 Dovedale Hill Climbs under his belt.

Despite a hamstring injury that he got a week after last year’s race, Stuart conquered the hill in 68 minutes and 36 seconds, placing 47th overall.

“I was very happy with the run this year, I was running on an injury so it was a testing time but I ended up with a time faster than last year so that was good.”

Stuart says although the race doesn’t change, it’s always been about the mental challenge.

“I think that’s why so many people do it,” he says. “I definitely enjoy that side of it, you have to if you’ve run marathons and races.”

Stuart says he looks forward to the race each year and is keen to challenge his time again next year.