Over the last 12 months Tauranga professional triathlete Hannah Wells has been making her presence felt in many events around the world. At the weekend, she did it again at the ASB Auckland Marathon, winning her debut marathon race in less than three hours. In the men's marathon event, Rotorua's Michael Voss placed second in his first time at the event. And while many people would be relaxing following running a marathon, there won't be much slowing down for Wells and Voss. Kristin Macfarlane reports.
She had a plan and she stuck to it.
It was to reach each distance in about four minutes.
Less than three hours later she had won her first marathon race.
It is the latest of many racing milestones for Tauranga professional triathlete, Hannah Wells, who won Sunday's 42.195km ASB Auckland Marathon in a time of 2hrs, 50mins and 49sec - averaging about four minutes a kilometre.
"My legs are a little bit sore but [feel] pretty good," Wells said after winning her debut marathon.
"My plan was to go out on four-minute ks and not any faster, and try and maintain that till the end, and I pretty much did that, I did go a little bit faster at one point in the race just after the Harbour Bridge," she said.
That pacing plan was given to her by her coach, Auckland-based Bevan McKinnon, who was at the finish line to support her after claiming another win in her sporting career, along with friends and family.
"I went out and just stuck to that and it seemed to work."
After the bridge she started slowing down again, assuming it would be that point that her muscles would start to get tired.
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Happy with her results, Wells says she won't be doing too much running this week, instead focusing on swimming and biking in preparation for the Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney event next month.
Another Bay of Plenty athlete, Rotorua's Michael Voss, made his mark in his first time racing at the Auckland Marathon, coming in second in the men's marathon race with a time of 2hrs, 22min, 34sec. He was just a few minutes behind first-place-getter Eritrean-born Aussie, Isaias Beyn, blasting away over the final 10km to defeat the gallant Voss.
"That was a great race, I just looked to stay with Isaias for as long as I could, but in the end I had nothing left to respond, he ran a superb race, but I am delighted," Voss said.
Voss emptied the tank to run a personal best by nearly five minutes from his finish at the Rotorua Marathon this year, when he scored bronze with a time of 2hrs, 27min, 35sec.
"I reckon the course is a bit easier just not as many hills."
"I felt real comfortable until about 35-36ks ... the last five or six k were really tough but a lot of support out there," he said of the Auckland event.
After the race, Voss said his body was feeling it.
"She's pretty sore now but that's to be expected, so yeah, a few easy days or easy weeks training-wise and then sort of have a look and see what races are around.
"Definitely not pushing myself any time soon."
While he had no intense training sessions in coming days, the 22-year-old builder was due back at work today in Taupō, hoping he won't need to do anything too "tricky".
ASB Auckland Marathon:
1 Isaias Beyn, Australia, 2:19:33; 2 Michael Voss, Rotorua, 2:22:34; 3 Nicholas Sunseri, 2:23:57.
1 Hannah Wells, Tauranga, 2:50:49; 2 Mel Aitken, Wellington, 2:53:12; 3 Sonya Cameron, 3:02:32.
Barfoot and Thompson Half Marathon:
1 Oli Chignell, Dunedin, 1:05:50 (new race record); 2 Cameron Graves, Auckland, 1:05:52; 3 Daniel Balchin, Cromwell, 1:06:59.
1 Lisa Cross, 1:18:22; 2 Katrina Andrew, 1:22:14; 3 Karen Donaldson-Barron, 1:24:26.