Auckland marathon: Runners slower than last year

Over 14,000 entrants ran the Auckland marathon yesterday, including your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man and a Lego-man.

Auckland boasted perfect weather - cool and dry. Despite this, the victors fell short of the times set last year.

Australian Matt Davy won this year's men's division with a time of 2.24:13, four minutes slower than last year's winner Oska Baynes.

Women's race winner for 2017, Hannah Oldroyd, finished seven minutes slower than last year's winner with a time of 2.54:08.

Davy - of Melbourne - won the event, beating his personal best by 20 seconds. Aucklander Josh Maisey finished second, just seven seconds slower.

Taking control early, Davy ran 300m in front of a chase-pack including Maisey, third-place-getter Blair McWhirter and Lloyd Biddell at the 10km mark.

"I was hoping to run with the other guys, I felt good and maybe it wasn't the smartest to go out so hard, but I felt comfortable and thought I could hold it, training has been going well so I thought I would have a crack and see how I go," Davy said.

Davy knew that Maisey was closing the gap and was forced to dig deep for the victory.

"He was closing hard, I had a quick look with about 400m to go and probably shouldn't have because that sort of gave him a bit of a spur on, but I put in the hard yards on the grass and managed to come away with the win."

Based in Christchurch, Oldroyd won the Christchurch marathon in June, and added the Auckland marathon to her name yesterday.

It was a surprise victory Oldroyd said, beating out Australian Leah Fitzgerald (second) and Wellingtonian Ruby Muir (third).

"I wasn't expecting that at all, I was thinking top 10 maybe, so this is a real bonus.

"I have had a few crap runs recently so I started nice and steady and went through the half in about 1:29 I think and then felt strong in the second half and pushed home from about the 20 mile mark, I enjoyed it," Oldroyd said.

Auckland turned on perfect weather for marathon running. Contestants ran from Devonport, over the Harbour Bridge to the finish line at Victoria Park.

Of 14,095 entrants, over 700 ran for charity as part of the Marathon Charity Hero programme, with organisers hoping to raise over $1 million for local charities - the figure will be confirmed later this week.

Auckland Marathon Results
Men

1. Matt Davy, Australia, 2:24:13
2. Josh Maisey, Auckland, 2:24:20
3. Blair McWhirter, Christchurch, 2:25:57
Women
1. Hannah Oldroyd, Christchurch, 2:54:08
2. Leah Fitzgerald, Australia, 2:54:55
3. Ruby Muir, Wellington, 2:55:02

Half Marathon
Men

1. Aaron Pulford, Whangamata 1:07:17
2. Daniel Balchin, Christchurch 1:09:08
3. Michael Vercoe-Curtis, Auckland 1:09:31
Women
1. Olivia Burne, Auckland, 1:15:47
2. Laura Nagel, Napier, 1:19:38
3. Pip Meo, Auckland, 1:25:56

- NZ Herald

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