News & Updates

8 September 2022 • Rotorua Marathon

Voss gunning for unprecedented Rotorua Marathon hat-trick

Michael Voss (centre) has won the past two editions of the Rotorua Marathon. (Credit: Alisha Lovrich)

Local athlete Michael Voss is hoping to produce a history-making performance in the Rotorua Marathon on Saturday 17 September as he bids to become the first man to claim a hat-trick of titles in the iconic event.

Two women – Nyla Carroll and Alice Mason – have achieved the feat but in the 58-year history of the event no man has secured three successive titles. Yet all the signs hint that the Lake City AC athlete could achieve the unprecedented feat after enjoying an excellent year.

In May, Voss secured the Hawke’s Bay Marathon in 2:24:04 – the second fastest marathon of his career – and in the Gold Coast in July he scalped more than a minute from his half-marathon PB to run a slick 1:04:07.

Now the 25-year-old builder tackles ‘a Lap of the Lake’ hunting another top performance following successive victories in 2020 and 2021.

“I’m really excited it has been over a year now since the last race in Rotorua (in May 2021) and it will be good to get back out there,” he explains. “I’m just trying to get the win, I don’t think times matter on the day. I’ll see who turns up and take the race kilometre by kilometre.”

Voss first became aware of the iconic Rotorua Marathon playing soccer in the city’s Puarenga Park and has been intrigued by the race ever since.

“I remember marathon day it would also be chocka-a-bloc and after playing football and driving home I would see the marathon runners really hurting. I thought these people must be pretty tough. I later went down and watched the finish a few times, it was always such a cool atmosphere.

“As a member of Lake City AC I’ve always eyed up the event and it always has a bit of hype around it. Lots of little factors add up to make it special.”

Under the guidance of coach Kim Stevenson, Voss has developed into one of the leading domestic endurance runners. A winner of senior men’s national medals over 10,000m and on the track over 10km and half-marathon on the road he has, however, perhaps found the marathon his true calling. 

A winner of three of his past four marathon races, the full-time builder believes the foundation of his success is running an average of 100 miles a week through iconic Rotorua locations such as through the Redwoods at Whakarewarewa Forest and Sulphur Flats

His performance to win the Hawke’s Bay Marathon and his new PB in the Gold Coast suggests he is in the form of his life – a fact the defending Rotorua Marathon champion supports.

“My training suggests that,” he adds. “Many of my sessions, feel as easy as they ever have and I’m clocking some of my fastest times on my training loops. I’m not sure I’ll get a PB in Rotorua, but if the pace is hot from the start it could be on. I’ll just see how the race unfolds on the day.

Since his Gold Coast PB, Voss has suffered from a bout of Covid and a knee infection which sidelined him a week but does not feel either issue has unduly derailed his plans.

So should he achieve an unprecedented hat-trick what would it mean to the Rotorua local?

“I’m trying not to think about it too much but should I do it I’d be pretty stoked and I’d be sure to celebrate it afterwards.”

To enter the Rotorua Marathon which has full marathon, half-marathon, 10km and 5.5km options go here