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History repeated itself yesterday as two old rivals reached a photo finish in a thrilling conclusion to the Surf to Stadium Fun Run and Walk in Dunedin.
After a 10km route starting at St Clair, traversing Lawyers Head and Tainui and heading down Portsmouth Dr, Kirk Madgwick edged Jonah Smith on the final corner a few metres before the finish line under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Madgwick (23), originally of Auckland but now in Dunedin contracting with Emerson's, said it was another tough battle against his frequent long-distance running rival.
"We've raced together a lot.
"It was tough eh? I didn't want to let anyone go at the start, so I just powered on, he took a gap, and I was like `no he can't get away'.
"I just battled through."
Smith (24), who works on a Taieri dairy farm, said he took the lead just before halfway and started to push the pace, but could always feel Madgwick close behind.
"Just before halfway I went in front and started to push the pace a lot.
"I got in a bit of a gap - I didn't know if anyone was there but I could feel footsteps and I figured it was Kirk.
"He just snuck round me on the last corner.
The photo finish, in which
both competitors crossed in about 33 minutes 20 seconds, recalled a race three years ago between Clyde and Alexandra in which Madgwick also snuck past him, Smith said.
Also competing yesterday were Richard McKinlay (33) and Fletcher Hawken (10), both dressed as the Incredible Hulk, who were pleased with their effort of 49 minutes and 30 seconds.
"It was our goal to get under
50 minutes and we did that,"
About 1300 people took part in the eighth annual event, which included both 10km and 4km routes, an increase on the turnout last year, organisers said.