Aucklander Stephen Lett left a 2500-strong field in his wake to win the Kerikeri Half Marathon for the second year in a row - but the overall winner of Sport Northland's run/walk series was a Whangarei schoolboy contesting his first half-marathon.
Whau Valley's Harry Linford was the first Northlander across the line finishing in a time of 1h 17m 50s. Linford was stoked with his 6th placing, especially as he was up against professional runners from around New Zealand.
Saturday's result means the Hatea Harriers member and Year 12 student at Pompallier Catholic College is the overall winner of the Sport Northland Run/Walk series. Linford had earlier won the Whangarei Beach 2 Basin, Baylys 2 Dargaville, Mangawhai Heads 2 Hub and Paihia runs.
One of the more unusual sights in this year's event was Aucklander Lee Warn contesting the racing chair event in a gorilla suit. Any runners feeling hot and sticky got a boost from seeing someone competing in a gorilla suit, he said.
"I'm not going to lie, it was bloody hot in there, but it's fun and it motivates the others. If I wanted to come first I'd be wearing lycra, but where's the fun in that?"
This year's Fullers GreatSights Kerikeri Half Marathon sold out 10 days ahead of the event with a record 2500 entries, including 550 from the Far North and 500 from the Whangarei District.
Just under half the runners came up from Auckland.
Results - Run: Men, Stephen Lett (Auckland) 1:10:08, 1; Sam Dobson (Auckland) 1:11:37, 2; Luke Longdill (Auckland) 1:14:08, 3. Women, Melissa Norris (Auckland) 1:22:58, 1; Hinano Sefesi (Wellington) 1:25:10, 2; Rachel Bowie (Auckland) 1:26:31, 3.
Competitive walk: Men, Alan Connelley (Whangarei) 2:13:16, 1; John Wesseling (Auckland) 2:15:34, 2; Dave Strong (Ashburton) 2:23:03, 3. Women, Nic Quilty (Auckland) 2:27:50, 1; Kathy Schluter (Coopers Beach) 2:28:38, 2; Jo Allan 2:30:27, 3.
Wheelchair: Men, Brandon Stratton (Auckland) 0:40:17, 1; Lee Warn (Auckland) 1:21:32, 2. Note: As other wheelchair competitors used hand-cycle chairs, first place was awarded to Lee Warn. Women, Tiffiney Perry (Hamilton) 00:51:41, 1;.
Clydesdales: 90-95kg Neil Walker, (Kerikeri) 1:34:29; 95.1-100kg James Heneghan (Auckland) 1:46:51; 100.1kg+ Dave Twaddle (Whangarei) 1:37:36.
Fillies: 60-65kg DJ Gillming (Whangarei) 1:46:57; 65.1-70kg Elizabeth Fell (Auckland); 70.1kg+ Catherine Semenoff-Murray (Kaitaia) 1:39:27.
Corporate team: Fullers GreatSights, 1; NorthTec, 2.
More pictures - P11