The ASB Auckland Marathon is on Sunday and a number of Tauranga and Rotorua athletes have been identified as leading contenders. Rotorua's Michael Voss is expected to perform well in men's race, while in the women's event, Tauranga's Hannah Wells and Jess Walley have also been tipped to do well. Their biggest competition will be Wellington's Mel Aitken, who is coached by Tauranga's Craig Kirkwood. In the men's Half Marathon Aaron Pulford (Tauranga) is a favourite along with Tauranga's Lisa Cross in the women's half. Kristin Macfarlane reports.

Mel Aitken was the first woman to finish the Garmin Tauranga Marathon in September. Photo / George Novak
Mel Aitken was the first woman to finish the Garmin Tauranga Marathon in September. Photo / George Novak

Wells' biggest competition, police officer Mel Aitken, won last month's Garmin Tauranga

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