Japanese runners scored a double at the 53rd running of the Rotorua Marathon, taking out both the men's and women's races on Saturday morning.
Saeki Makino won the men's race in 2:21:58, the fastest winning time in the race since 2001, while compatriot Yuki Ogawa took out the women's race in 2:54:14.
Makino made his intentions clear right from the start, hitting the lead from the first 200m to lead the field on a merry chase for the entire length of the 42km circuit of Lake Rotorua.
Chris Sanson from Palmerston North gave brief chase but had lost over a minute by 10km and was 2:40 in arrears by the half way mark. Auckland's Jono Jackson, running in third place was another 2:25 adrift at half way.
The runner from Kawaguchi, who also won the Taipei Marathon in February this year, hit the finish line looking very happy and fresh despite his exertions on the tough Rotorua course, 5:13 ahead of second placed Sanson who also finished second in 2016.
Sanson had the satisfaction of running a personal best time, knocking 59 seconds off his time at Rotorua last year.
Jackson was another 5:33 behind Sanson, repeating his third place at Rotorua in 2015.
The women's race was quite different with local Rotorua runner Johanna Ottosson leading Ogawa early in the race before the Japanese runner made up ground and the two ran together for a time.
Ogawa edged ahead to lead at the half way point by a minute and held that lead for the second half of the race, eventually winning in 2:54:14 with a margin of 1:43.
Katie Wyrill from Auckland finished third in 3:02:21.
In the RECT Half Marathon, Melbourne based Kiwi Josh Maisey was a clear winner in 1:09:29 from Sam Pendreigh (Albany) 1:13:06 and Simon Cochrane from Hamilton in 1:13.59.
National half marathon champion Olivia Burne from Auckland gave a master class, taking out the women's half marathon, recording 1:16:27 with a big gap back to Erin Furness (Hamilton) in second and Megan Grant from Rotorua.
Included in the field was Kuniyoshi Kawai from Japan who ran his 800th Marathon at Rotorua this year, finishing 695th in 6:01:36.
Over 5200 took part in the events at Rotorua Marathon this year from the kids Mini-Marathon on Friday to the Full Marathon.
1. Saeki Makino Japan 2:21:58
2. Chris Sanson Palmerston Nth2:27:11
3. Jonathan Jackson Auckland 2:32:44
4. Matt Parsonage Rotorua 2:40:12
5. Ben Wreford Timaru 2:43:47
1. Yuki Ogawa Japan 2:54:14
2. Johanna Ottosson Rotorua 2:55:57
3. Katie Wyrill Auckland 3:02:21
4. Kovo Macdonald Taupiri 3:09:00
5. Letha Whitham Wellington 3:15:00
Marathon Walk Men
1. Cliff Harrison Auckland 4:56:26
2. David Jones Palmerston Nth 5:00:50
3. Ron Soper Christchurch 5:04:49
Marathon Walk Women
1. Donna Roderick Taumarunui 4:45:27
2. Penny Purcell Tauranga 4:55:17
3. Helen Meyer Auckland 5:11:08
Half Marathon Men
1. Josh Maisey Auckland 1:09:29
2. Sam Pendriegh Albany 1:13:06
3. Simon Cochrane Hamilton 1:13:59
Half Marathon Women
1. Olivia Burne Auckland 1:16:27
2. Erin Furness Hamilton 1:25:02
3. Megan Grant Rotorua 1:27:12
Half Marathon Wheelchair
1. Dan Buckingham Auckland 1:13:10
Half Marathon Walk Men
1. Derren Hutchinson Taradale 2:14:45
2. John Wesseling Auckland 2:15:26
3. Caleb Koia-hamling Paeroa 2:29:01
Half Marathon Walk Women
1. Laura Langley Taradale 1:52:22
2. Anne Day Rotorua 2:28:49
3. Margoth Jaime Auckland 2:30:57
Quarter Marathon Men
1. Kane Fellingham Hastings 37:09
2. Dave Cronshaw Rotorua 39:06
3. Brad Coleman Wellington 40:43
Quarter Marathon Women
1. Anja Vlasic Auckland 1:06:59
2. Kaye Germann Tauranga 1:11:05
3. Joanna Koat Auckland 1:14:19
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand