From the Otago Witness 9 September 1908


MURRAY'S RECORD BROKEN. The eighth annual Port Chalmers to Dunedin road race, held under the supervision of the Dunedin Harriers, was run on Saturday afternoon in beautiful weather and the anticipations that Harry Murray 1903 record of 43min 21sec would be broken were realised when G. M'Knight, the Caversham Harriers' crack, reduced the time by 1min 36sec. J. Beateon. of the Caversham Harriers, also ran well inside the previous best, his time for the distance being only 11 seconds slower than that of his club-mate. A big contingent of amateur enthusiasts journeyed to Port to witness the start, and after the usual rub down at the Forestere Hall, the runners were placed on their marks Punctually at 3.45 p.m. the limit man (Gorman) was started on his long journey, and was well through Sawyers J Bay before the scratch man (M  Knight) was started.

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The Port Chalmers to Dunedin Road Race is said to be the oldest ‘running’ road race in Australasia with the first race being held in 1902. The course is run on the original Port Chalmers to Dunedin road that remains the same distance and testing topography today albeit the surface is bitumen instead of metal. The course became fully sealed in 1934

The record for the 12km course was set by Alan (AJ) Moir from the Ariki Club in 1974 in a time of 37min 40sec.

Moir along with Tony O’Brien (Mornington) in 1975 are the only two athletes to have broken the 38min barrier, but neither have won the annual handicapped event outright.

Only two athletes have held the distinction of winning outright in two occasions – Archie Kirkwood (Otago University) in 1941 and 1943 and Frank Perry  (Leith) in 1950 and 1989

The event was opened up to women in 1982, only three have claimed outright honours – Sue O’Sullivan (Hill City) in 1983, Ros Dowland (Caversham) in 1985 and Melissa Halley in 2014.

1912 Finishers

From the ODT 5 September 2014

Athletics: Race record challenge

Even though 40 years have passed since Alan Moir (63) set the Port Chalmers to Dunedin road race record in 1974, he still keeps an eager eye on it every year.

His 37min 40sec record time has not seriously been threatened in the annual handicapped event's 112-year history.

The 12km race has been held every year since 1902, except during and after World War 1, (1915-20) and last year, when the road was blocked by a landslip.

Moir, who was 23 when he smashed Tom Marshall's 1963 race record (38min 25sec), remembers the 1974 race well.

''It was funny, when I finished the thing, it was almost like I could have run it again. I felt really good. I never knew what the record was before I ran it.

''I was pretty pleased I beat two jokers [Stuart Melville and Euan Robertson] who represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games earlier that year. That's what gave me a thrill. Everything clicked, I just felt really good. I put a lot of training in that year, but it all just came together,'' he said.

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Alan Moir (AJ)

1974 - Port Chalmers to Dunedin Road Race –  Alan Moir (AJ) sets new Mens record at 37.40
which still stands today (40+ yrs on) 

 In a three way battle with Stu Melville (Caversham) and Euan Robertson (Otago University) it is not until Ravensbourne that Alan Moir (Ariki) pulls away to secure fastest time and with it the race record beating Tom Marshall’s (North Otago) 1963 time of 38.25 by 45 seconds with Robertson (38.00) and Melville (38.01) both going under the old record. Keith Dowland (Caversham) 39.20, Steve Patchett (Otago University) 39.30, and Tony Snell (Leith) 39.38 also broke the 40 min barrier
 Congratulations  AJ !