It was a total field of 40 combinations of runners and walkers who had spring in their step for the Wanganui Harrier Club's annual Marton to Whanganui Relay on Saturday morning.
Starting at the Marton Rugby clubrooms, the 66.3km course wanders through the Turakina, Whangaehu and Matarawa valleys, before teams arrive at the finish line outside the Wanganui East Club.
The first walkers depart at 7am, while the solo competitors, two person and composite teams begin an hour later, followed by the regular relay teams at 9.30am.
The winning team this year was 'Easy 4.20s all the way', from New Plymouth's Energy City Harriers.
A good team effort will usually have the winning group arriving at Wanganui East Club not long before 2pm, but Easy 4.20s blitzed the course in 3h 59m 47s.
That was an average of 3m 37s per kilometre.
Just four minutes behind them were New Plymouth club mates 'Tuesday night is Race Night'.
Coming third were the home team in Wanganui Harrier Club A Team.
There were 15 run teams entered this year, made up of club, social, gym and family groups.
The walking event was won by Trentham Harriers Pacemakers team, who paced out the course in 6h 56m, which was a faster time than some of the more social run teams.
Runnersup were from the Manawatu Striders club, with Wellington Scottish Sweaty Sox finishing third.
Like the runners, there were 15 walking teams in the field, with five of them being well-matched combinations from Lower Hutt's Kiwi Walkers club, who all finished with seven minutes of each other.
There may have also been some planned strategy between the three groups from the Neva Beans, who all finished at exactly the same time,
Three teams took part in the composite grade – which is a walking/running combination – and the Levin Harriers club representatives were first home in 6h 4m, with Foxton's Lytton Street School second just ahead of Stratford Runners & Walkers.
There were three 2-person teams and one 3-person combination on the course, and the father/son team of Peter and Liam Jones prevailed, with the three person team of Wright & Co just 70 seconds behind them, with Feilding's Deb Arnold and Dave Walters making up the numbers.
And six very brave individuals tackled the 66.3km course by themselves as runners or walkers.
The winner was Dannevirke's Scott Thompson, who took 5h 51m to finish, ahead of Whanganui's Craig Jackson and Wellington's Carl Laffan, just one minute slower.
Organiser Bill Charnock said a number of teams competed for the first time in the relay and promised to return next year, which will be held on the second Saturday of September, in this case September 14, 2019.
Individual: 1. Scott Thompson 5:51.25; 2. Craig Jackson; 3. Carl Laffan; 4. Chris Gunn; 5. Albie Jane; DNF. Geoff Ness.
Two Person Teams: 1. Keeping up with the ……. 6:03.32; 2. Wright & Co; 3. Deb & Dave (Deb Arnold & Dave Walters); 4. Half an Ultra (Damien & Paula).
Composite Teams: 1. Levin Harriers 6:04.43; 2. Lytton Street School; 3. Stratford Runners & Walkers.
Runners Teams: 1. Energy City Easy 4.20s all the way 3:59.47; 2. Energy City Tuesday night is race night; 3. Feilding Moa; 4. Kapiti Sharks; 5. Wanganui Harriers Mixed; 6. Kapiti Eagles; 7. Wanganui Harriers A; 8. Hutt Valley Hardcore; 9. Piki Ake Ohakea; 10. Wanganui Harriers Girls; 11. Shannon Saints; 12. Fearsome Feilding (Intermediate); 13. Slo Pros; 14. Cool Down Specialists; 15. Ngatiawa River Monastery; 16. Green on White.
Walk Teams: 1. Trentham Pacemakers 6:56.27; 2. Striders Als Mob; 3. Wellington Scottish Sweaty Sox; 4. Kiwi Masters Walkers Quick Steps; 5. Kiwi Masters Walkers Scrambled Legs; 6. Kiwi Masters Walkers Captain Underpants and the Wicked Wedges; 7. Kiwi Masters Walkers Decapods; 8. Kiwi Masters Walkers Happy Feet; 9. Neva Beans 1; 10. Neva Beans 2; 11. Neva Beans 3; 12. Wanganui Walkabouts.