Dunedin women take top spots at marathon

Dunedin-based Australian runner Margie Campbell won the women's title at the 2019 Queenstown International Marathon on Saturday.

The physiotherapist led from the start and came home in 2hrs 54mins and 51 seconds, 15 minutes clear of fellow Dunedinite Sonya Cameron.

"That race lived up to everything I have been told, it was just spectacular," Campbell says.

"I am just so pleased those heavy showers stayed away. Conditions were perfect, just ideal."

Fabe Downs on the home stretch. PHOTO: PHILIP CHANDLER
Fabe Downs on the home stretch. PHOTO: PHILIP CHANDLER

Campbell said ran with some of the men's field at the start, but was on her own for much of the race after the half way point.

"I was just looking around enjoying the view and just rolling, I really wanted the win today, I am stoked.

"It is a little bit slower than a lot of marathon courses, but I wouldn't change it for anything."

Carly Doyle was third fastest female.

Fabe Downs tooks the men's title in 2:28.57, the second fastest marathon run of his career.

The runner, who has dual British and Swiss citizenship, moved to Auckland a week ago.

He beat Wellington-based Japanese Hiro Tanimoto by just 2 minutes and 13 seconds over the 42.2km course. Aucklander Jonathan Jackson finishing third.

"I loved that today, what an amazing course, the bit by the lake and it is so nice to run on soft ground and not hard tarmac all the way.

"I was in second until about 25 or 26k and I saw the lead guy and was feeling quite strong still. I was quite happy with how the race turned out and how I was pacing it."

Defending champion and pre-race favourite Daniel Jones withdrew just past the halfway mark with a lower leg injury.

Some 12,500 runners took on the various distances in for the sixth Queenstown International Marathon, sponsored by Air New Zealand.

The day began with light to moderate rain, which continued to fall intermittently throughout the morning, the sun poking through at times.

It made for good running conditions though, with little or no wind and mild temperatures.

In the New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty Half Marathon, it was Daniel Balchin dominating an event he has now won three time in succession.

The Cromwell athlete knows the course well and loved the perfect running temperatures.

"It is sort of my home course now; I live in Cromwell so it would be rude not to keep coming back. The weather conditions were ideal for running, raining a little at the start but it stopped during the race and stayed nice and cool."

Balchin finished almost a minute outside his race record but was also taken by the scenery on offer throughout the course.

"I was on record pace until about 6k to go but the wheels fell off a little. This is a beautiful place, I come out here and do my Sunday long runs here as I enjoy the trails and the beautiful scenery by the lakes, it is a great place to run."

Jess Kikstra (Christchurch) took her good form from the cross-country circuit to the half course today, running to victory in 1:26:18, despite just missing the race start.

"I actually missed the start so started by myself and was chasing everyone. I don't have a watch or anything, so I was just looking to stay calm. This is my first half on a flat course, I am normally a triathlete or cross-country runner. The weather was great, and conditions underfoot were fine, despite the early showers."

Paralympic athletics star Liam Malone, who flew home in the half in an impressive 1:34.44.

RESULTS 

Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon:

Air New Zealand Marathon

Men: 1 Fabe Downs, GBR, 2:28:57; 2 Hiro Tanimoto, JPN, 2:31:10; Jonathan Jackson, Auckland, 2:38:04
Women: 1 Margie Campbell, Australia, 2:54:51; Sonya Cameron, Dunedin, 3:10:19; Carly Doyle, GBR, 3:11:16

New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty Half Marathon

Men: 1 Daniel Balchin, Cromwell, 1:08:17; 2 Chris Dunell, Christchurch, 1:13:53; 3 Brett Tingay, Christchurch, 1:14:19
Women: 1 Jess Kikstra, Christchurch, 1:26:18; 2 Laura Holyoake, Auckland, 1:27:59; 3 Anneke Grogan, Bay of Plenty, 1:28:16

Cigna 10km

Men: 1 Matthew Hobbs, Christchurch, 33:27; 2 Oliver O'Sullivan, Dunedin, 33:48; 3 Mick Heron, Australia, 34:13
Women: 1 Rebekah Greene, Dunedin, 35:44; 2 Hanneke Ijsselstijn, Queenstown, 38:39; 3 Katie Green, Queenstown, 41:27

Queenstown Airport Kids Run

Boys: 1 Lewis Bushby, 8:47; 2 Brent Cameron, 8:59; 3 Jake Smith, 9:14
Girls: 1 Abby Fookes, 8:47; 2 Analiese Murphy, 8:48; 3 Pippa McAtamney, 9:11

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