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Clocking 12 minutes and 55 seconds, he set a new benchmark for the Run the Runway event at Dunedin Airport on Saturday.
Mr Smith (26) said he had been training for the Christchurch marathon in April, but because he lived close to the Dunedin Airport, he thought he might give Run the Runway a go.
"I had actually been for a decent run in the morning — I wasn’t particularly fresh."
After about 1km, he had managed to break away from his friend, last year’s winner Leon Miyahara.
"I just tried to keep a steady pace from there — I was quite pleased with how it went."
Mr Miyahara landed third place, recording the same time as last year.
But there were no hard feelings between the friends, Mr Smith said.
Event organiser Fraser Ellis said the new twilight take-off, rather than the previous years’ "crack of dawn" starts, was much more appealing to those who were not morning people.
The runners set off at 8pm after the last flight in from Wellington and it was over and done with before dark.
Mr Ellis did not know the exact number of those who took part, but said the turn out was up on last year.
Families, individuals, wheelchair users and people pushing prams joined in.
"It was open to all," he said.
Mr Ellis was particularly impressed with a young participant, who he believed was about 9 or 10, who took fifth place.
"He is a bolter — it was quite impressive."