The weather gods tried their hardest but nothing could stop the gallant athletes in the 32nd Mount Runners and Walkers Half Marathon held on Sunday.
With persistent rain and heavy wind gusts causing carnage among umbrella-holding spectators, Aucklander Jack Moody made no race of it to set a course record.
The 24-year-old set a new time of 1h 09m 58s to go under the mark of 1:11:11 set by three-time winner Kyle Macdonald from Mount Maunganui, who finished in third place (1:17:16) behind Nick Berry (1:14:36).
"I am absolutely stoked. It was a tough day out in the wind and the rain but I loved every minute of it. We had awesome support on the course from the marshals and it is a great event," Moody said.
"I started triathlon about a year or so ago, so all of a sudden the training volumes doubled and it is paying dividends now. I am really looking forward to another big year doing 70.3 (triathlon) and hopefully Ironman again."
Moody was prompted to enter the event by his coach who wanted to find out how fast he could do a half-marathon.
"He sent me down here and it was fantastic. I ran down here last year in the Tauranga International Half and got second and was sixth in the Port of Tauranga Half.
"It is a special place for me coming down here. I absolutely love it although it was tough going out in that headwind just running solo. Also running around the Mount with the stairs was always going to be tough, just breaking up that rhythm. So long as you break it down into sections it's fine."
Lisa Cross made it a double for the City of Sails as the Auckland police officer won the women's race in 1:20:30, with Te Puke's Hannah Wells second (1:25:53) and Sonia McAllister from Opotiki third.
Cross, who has won the Rotorua Marathon, admits she nearly lost her way running the lap around Mauao but for the help of a friendly local.
"I like going round the mountain, except the first lap I ran into a fence that said the track was shut. I was lucky there was someone walking who said 'no, go that way' so I almost went the wrong way," she said with a grin.
"I like the off-road part of the race. It was not cold at least and the thing is we are all in the same boat so you just run to the conditions. You just stick your head down and one foot after another into the wind."
It was her first attempt at a half-marathon at Mount Maunganui.
She is keen to come back next year to defend her title.
"I am feeling pretty fit as I only had a baby eight months ago. That headwind was pretty shocking and that was really tough but when you had the tailwind it was great."
Penny Purcell was first female home in the half-marathon walk in a time of 2:20:19 with Alan Clarke leading the men in 2:20:21. Tauranga's Regan Bones (34:58) and Sarah Gardner (38:08) won the 10km runs.