Wellington doctor Dougal Thorburn and Dunedin nurse Shireen Crumpton have won the New Zealand Marathon Championships in Wellington this morning.

Thorburn, 32, ran a personal best time of 2 hours 25 minutes 33 seconds, winning by one-and-a-half minutes from Takapuna's Stephen Lett, with Chris Sanson of Palmerston North in third place. Thorburn took the lead around the 20km mark and held off Lett to win his first national title.

It was the fourth national marathon title for Crumpton, who ran a time of 2:55:4 and finished almost 13 minutes clear of second-placed Katrin Gottschalk from Auckland, with Natalie Gaskin of Wellington in third.

Crumpton, a two-time world championship marathon representative, previously won the national title in 2005, 2009 and 2010 and has now gone one clear of Jillian Costley, who has three titles to her name.


The race was run in cold conditions with a steady southerly breeze in the face of the athletes for much of the waterfront course. The course was changed in the days before the race following the storm that struck Wellington, causing damage and road closures around the city.