News & Updates

17 September 2022 • Rotorua Marathon

Voss claims historic Rotorua Marathon hat-trick

Michael Voss secures an unprecedented hat-trick of men's victories at the Rotorua Marathon. (Credit: Aaron Gillions)

Local athlete Michael Voss defied a bout of cramp to create Rotorua Marathon history today and secure an unprecedented hat-trick of men’s titles, clocking a time of 2:29:21.

The 25-year-old of the local Lake City AC produced a dominant display, quickly seizing control of the race and opening up a huge lead on the field.

Approaching 37km the Rotorua-based athlete held a whopping 5km advantage only to suddenly feel a cramp in his left hamstring. Despite having to slow to a walk on several occasions because of the pain, Voss had far too much of an advantage to concede and he crossed the line first to claim a third successive race win and receive the acclaim of the ecstatic home supporters.

An elated Voss said: “To win this race three times in a row is pretty special, I’ll definitely remember it for a long time.

“I went through halfway in around 71 or 72 minutes and I was surprised (at how fast I was going). I wanted to try and hold it all together but in the final 5km I started cramping up and had to walk/run. I tried not to panic too much. I just had to have a little bit of a stretch and slowly build into to it again. Despite what happened, I’m still very happy with the time and the way the race went.

“I know quite a few of the others runners in the marathon and half marathon, so I’m sure we’ll celebrate with a little pub crawl tonight,” added Voss, who says he fully intends to return for a crack at a fourth successive Rotorua Marathon in May next year.

Dion Goodhue of Mt Maunganui claimed second spot in 2:47:06 with Daniel Coates (Owairaka) completing the podium picture in third (2:48:15).

Wellington-based mum-of-three Mel Brandon claimed a decisive victory in the women’s marathon, clinching top spot in 3:00:08.

Brandon, 44, who only took up the sport seven years ago, proved it’s never too late as she claimed the biggest win of her career so far.

A delighted Brandon, who competes for Wellington Scottish, said: “It’s a real honour to win because I don’t consider myself that great a runner, I consider myself a novice because I’ve only been doing running a short time.

“I’m grateful to be fit and healthy enough to run such races, although I definitely didn’t get my (time) goal by a long shot. I was probably too ambitious with my expectations given that it is such a tough course to get a PB on.

“I pushed too hard and by the 30km mark I felt a bit spent and it was just a real hard slog coming home.”

Brandon, mum to 15 and 13-year-old daughters and an 11-year-old son, hopes her efforts in Rotorua can act as an inspiration to her three children.

“They are really proud of mum and this will mean it a lot to them,” she adds. “I do strive to be a good role-model and the lesson I want to pass on to the kids is that hard work and effort pays off.”

Courtney Pratt of New Plymouth placed second in 3:02:59 with Billie-Lee Haresnape of Piha snagging a podium spot in third (3:06:09).

Pre-race favourite Mariano Piagentini lived up to the billing to take a comfortable victory in the men’s Red Stag Timber Half Marathon, registering a time of 1:19:13.

The 38-year-old cycling mechanic, who arrived to live in New Zealand in 2019 from his native Argentina, said: “I’m really happy and I feel great. Last year I finished fifth but I struggled with a knee problem, but this year I said, okay, I am going to do my own race and my own pace and fortunately I won.”

James Wharmby (Waiuku) grabbed second spot in 1:23:46 with Will Swales of Hamilton rounding out the podium in 1:26:51.

The women’s half marathon was secured by Emily Burmester (Mt Maunganui) in 1:37:43 with Christy Aish of New Plymouth edging out Darshna Govind (Miramar) by a two-second margin in 1:39:03 to take out second.

Ben Bidois of Hamilton was the first male home in the Go Media 10km in 33:56 with the first woman home Ella Smart (Matamata) in 40:26.

Bronwen Rees-Jones of Cambridge was the quickest female in the First Credit Union 5.5km, recording 22:05. The quickest male was Ashton Guitry (Tokoroa 23:09).

The race attracted more than 2400 entries competing in the full marathon, Red Stag Timber Half Marathon, Go Media 10km and First Credit Union 5.5km. Among them included Flava Breakfast Radio host Stacey Morrison, who completed the 10km in 1:17:14.

For full results go here