Rotorua builder Michael Voss became the first local to win the Rotorua Marathon in 45 years.
Meanwhile Tauranga doctor Alice Mason won the women's Rotorua Marathon for the third year in a row.
Voss took the men's title arriving home in just two hours and 31 minutes.
The 23-year-old was the first men's winner from Rotorua since two-time Olympian Jack Foster's victory in 1975.
The marathon runners set off at 8am for their lap around the lake, followed by those completing the other running and walking events.
A total of 2000 took part.
Mason, 33, said the marathon race "was a bit of a shock to the system" after Covid-19-related cancellations this year.
"I went out at quite a good pace and I was lucky that I was running with a strong group of men until around 32-33km, that was awesome."
She had planned to race in Korea in March but that was cancelled, as were large-scale running events in New Zealand.
"Motivation-wise, it was quite hard to keep working so hard."
But the work paid off when she completed the 42.2km in two hours and 50 minutes, seven minutes ahead of the second woman home, Mel Aitken, from Tawa.
Mason had been working full-time in Rotorua Hospital until last month when she moved to a new part-time role in Tauranga, where her coach Craig Kirkwood is based.
She hopes the change will have "positive effects" for her running, allowing her more time to recover.
"I've also got lots of people there to train with now which is a bit different from Rotorua. But I do miss the Redwoods. I find that I have to come back once a week or fortnight or I miss the forest too much."
A live feed of the finish line is being broadcast today.
The race was Michael Voss' first Rotorua Marathon win after coming third last year.
He "really enjoyed" the race despite having a "bad spot" in the Hamurana hills.
"When I got the gap ... I just didn't look back, I just tried to focus on holding a comfortable pace."
"To win the marathon has always been the goal, this is my third attempt, so I'm pretty stoked to finally get the win," he said.
Voss' friends and family were out on the course giving updates on his time and his lead and his workmates from Longmile Builders gave him extra boosts of encouragement.
He injured his achilles six weeks ago and resorted to biking for three weeks to keep his fitness up, before getting back on his feet three weeks ago.
"I just had to trust my coach's [Kim Stevenson's] word that it's not what you do in the three weeks of training you do before the marathon, it's the three months and three weeks of training that lead up to the day. So I had to keep reminding myself of that, half of it's all in your head."
"My legs started to cramp in the latter stages and if the race was 1km longer, I don't think I would have made it. I was right on the red line," he said.
"I can't really remember too much of the last 10km, I was just running on adrenaline."
Rotorua's Matthew Parsonage was fourth in the men's race, with a time of 2 hours and 37 minutes.
Fellow Rotorua competitor Hannah Gapes had a home win in the women's 10km, completing the run in just over 37 minutes.
Place-getters weren't the only ones going above and beyond.
Kaharoa woman Barbara Jamieson-Tucker, 67, completed the marathon walk after having done the marathon run 16 times.
She was lucky to survive a serious car crash last year that fractured her spine, among other injuries, and left her in hospital for a month.
Jamieson-Tucker had "always aspired" to run 20 Rotorua marathons but hasn't been able to run since the crash.
She aimed to complete the marathon walk instead after months of rehabilitation.
"Initially I could only walk for 10 minutes and I'd be absolutely stuffed."
She manages the Rotorua Workbridge office, helping disabled and injured New Zealanders find employment, and has been using walking to keep herself "fit and healthy" during her return to work.
"I like getting out in the open spaces - just switching off really. Everybody needs time to themselves."
Jamieson-Tucker said the support she'd had from ACC, QE Health and physiotherapy had been "marvellous".
The Rotorua Marathon was first held in 1965.
It is normally at the start of winter but was postponed due to Covid-19 this year and Aucklanders could not compete due to recent community transmission.
Rotorua Marathon run results
Michael Voss, Rotorua 2:31:13
Blair McWhirter, Christchurch 2:33:48
Nick Johnston, Feilding 2:37:28
Alice Mason, Rotorua 2:50:45
Mel Aitken, Tawa 2:57:36
Ingrid Cree, Wellington 2:57:55