Irishman Ciaran Faherty, who lives in Auckland, has claimed his first Rotorua Marathon title.

Faherty finished this morning's race, which starts and finishes at the Energy Events Centre and circumnavigates Lake Rotorua, in 2h 25m 38s.

The defending champion Blair McWhirter, of New Brighton, was second in 2h 26m 40s, more than eight minutes faster than his winning time last year.

Rotorua's Michael Voss, a half marathon specialist, was roared home by the crowd as he finished third 2h 27m 35s. It was something of a fairytale finish for Voss after being one of the lead runners last year before blowing out after about 30km.


In the women's race, Alice Mason finished first in 2h 51m 17s to make it back-to-back titles in Rotorua. Last year, Mason's win came as a Cambridge resident but a move to Rotorua in August made this one a win for the home team.

Cecilia Flori, of Te Pahu, was a close second in 2h 51s 54s. The Rotorua Marathon was her last race before heading overseas for the Western States Endurance Run, a 160km ultramarathon in California.

Newtown's Letha Whitham was the third woman in 3h 4m 31s.

In the half marathon, Jonathan Jackson, of Lynfield was first in 1h 13m 44s while Pukekohe's Lisa Cross was the first woman in 1h 22m 30s.

Rotorua Marathon Results
Men: 1st Ciaran Faherty (2:25:39), 2nd Blair McWhirter (2:26:40), 3rd Michael Voss (2:27:35), 4th Regan Bones (2:36:51), 5th Patrick McKenna (2:38:22).

Women: 1st Alice Mason (2:51:17), 2nd Cecilia Flori (2:51:55), 3rd Letha Whitham (3:04:31), 4th Frances Wardle (3:20:11), 5th Amanda Bethell (3:20:59).

Half Marathon:
Men: 1st Jonathan Jackson (1:13:44), 2ndMatt Kerr (1:22:13), 3rd Michael O'Sullivan (1:25:22), 4th Scott Van Dyk (1:25:29), 5th Martin Ferry (1:25:39).

Women: 1st Lisa Cross (1:22:30) 2nd Sabrina Grogan (1:30:37), 3rd Danielle Sansonetti (1:32:37), 4th Cath Cheatley (1:36:30), 5th Catherine Hauser (1:41:46).