Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Voss Joins Select Group With Back-to-back Rotorua Marathon Titles

2021 Rotorua Marathon winner Michael Voss.

Home favourite Michael Voss became only the fourth man in history to claim back-to-back Rotorua Marathon victories as he ignited the 57th edition of the iconic race by storming to an emphatic win in 2:29:30.

Through intermittent showers, the Lake City AC athlete hit the front within the opening kilometre and by halfway had opened up a three-minute advantage on his nearest challengers, before further extending his advantage in the second half of the race to claim a memorable win.

In clinching victory, Voss joined Jack Foster (1972-73), Paul Ballinger (1988-89) and Dale Warrander (2004-05) and (2010-11) as the only men to achieve the feat of successfully defending the Rotorua Marathon title.

Behind, in a tight tussle for the minor podium, 42-year-old Greg Darbyshire set a PB of 2:34:19 to grab second ahead of his fellow Aucklander Ewan Sinclair (2:34:37).

Yet this was Voss’ day and the 24-year-old Rotorua-based builder was elated to have retained his title.

“I’m really stoked with the win,” he said.

“The crowd coming down that finishing chute was unreal, it makes all the late night training and hard work worth it.

“From the first kilometre I found myself in front and then I just time-trialled it, hoping to hold 3:30 kilometres the whole way. I started to get a calf niggle at 30km but thankfully that came right and I stayed pretty strong to bring it home.

“It feels special to join that small group of men to have won back-to-back Rotorua Marathon titles. Those guys are way ahead of me time-wise but my coach, Kim Stevenson, always tells me the history of the race with the likes of Jack Foster and Paul Ballinger. It is awesome to be a part of that legacy.”

Mum-of-two Ingrid Cree added her name to the roll call of women’s Rotorua Marathon champions to clinch the biggest win of her career so far.

The 38-year-old Wellington-based athlete finished third at last year’s event and improved on that performance, stopping the clock in 2:54:11.

“It is a dream come true to win such an iconic and historic marathon,” said Cree, who set a marathon PB of 2:53:30 to place third in Christchurch last month.

“I grew up in Ohope Beach and I remember doing school relays around the lake of 5km and 10km wondering how anyone could run a full marathon. It has always been an event I’ve admired. More recently, I knew it was an event I was capable of winning and to do so is an amazing and incredible feeling.”

Cree is largely self-coached but receives some guidance from husband Elliot, who this weekend was running in the Westland South Island Ultra Marathon. She acknowledged it was a daunting challenge to run Rotorua only a few weeks after completing the Christchurch Marathon.

But she timed her effort to perfection on the day.

“I paced the race a lot better today than I did last year. I had two great guys running at a similar pace to me and it was great to be able to chat with them in the first half of the race before I got really stuck into it in the second half.

“It was such a great feeling running down that finishing chute, although thank goodness there was no one behind me because I didn’t have much of a sprint finish left.”

Rotorua-based Sue Crowley, 51, enjoyed an excellent run to dip below the three-hour mark and record 2:59:19 for second. Auckland-based Anna Williams (3:11:21) rounded out the podium finishers.

Earlier in the day, around 4,000 participants – the highest number since the historic 50th edition seven years ago – set out in a light drizzle to take on either the full marathon, Red Stag Timber half marathon, Go Media 10km or 5.5km distances.

In the Red Stag Timber half marathon, Sjors Corporaal upgraded on his second-place finish last year to take victory in the men’s race. The 43-year-old Galatea-based athlete stopped the clock in 1:12:29.

The women’s half-marathon victor was Katie Wyrill (Auckland), who completed the 21.1km distance in 1:32:01.

Among the finishers today included The Hits radio presenters Mike Puru and Anika Moa, who completed the Red Stag Timber half marathon in 2:19:19 and 2:57:38 respectively, and colleague Stacey Morrison, who took 1:15:33 to finish the 10km.

Puru, who survived a dog attack, nasty spider bite and dental surgery in his preparation, was delighted with his performance.

“My mission was to beat 2:23 and I just did it, so maybe next year I’ll go under two hours,” he said.

“The first 11km through the Redwoods nearly killed me but I found my groove after that. It is such a great event, you meet so many random people on the side giving you support. To compete at the Rotorua Marathon is something you can do for you and that is why I love it.”

Iain Macdonald (34:56) from Tauranga grabbed top men’s spot in the Go Media 10km with New Zealand U-20 5000m champion Hannah Gapes (Rotorua) claiming an eye-catching victory in the women’s race, registering an impressive 36:17.

The 5.5km run/walk honours went to Ashton Guitry (Tokoroa), who recorded 22:53 in the men’s race, while Bronwen Rees-Jones of Cambridge recorded 22:58 to take victory in the women’s division.

For all the results from the 2021 Rotorua Marathon please click here.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland