Ironman’s hometown push

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An Arrowtown triathlete’s stunned at finishing 15th out of almost 2400 runners in last weekend’s Queenstown International Marathon.

Adam Wilson was the fastest local runner in Saturday’s race – breaking the three-hour barrier to finish in an impressive two hours, 56 minutes and 45 seconds.

The 36-year-old salesman, who’s used to competing in Ironman challenges, says it was great “getting heaps of cheers and support” around the course.

“I’ve never considered myself a runner, having done triathlons.

“I stuck to my plan, kept to my pacing and finally got my nutrition right.”

Wilson used energy gels every 30 minutes this time round instead of taking them in one go, which he says helped him run the second half in the same time as the first.

He says he’s “super-happy” with his performance and his next challenge will be the Ironman 70.3 Taupo event on December 8.

With more than 11,000 runners across four races, other participants also went home feeling a great sense of achievement.

First-time marathon runner, Rebecca Conway, of Sunshine Bay, “loved every minute” of the race, despite nursing a painful ‘runner’s knee’ injury as the big day approached.

The 28-year-old, who’s raising money for Queenstown’s Happiness House community support centre, says it’s easy to see how people “get hooked on running”.

Conway says “the feeling you get from finishing a marathon is like nothing else” and she’s down to enter again next year.

Half marathon runner, Queenstown’s council CEO Mike Theelen, says he’s relieved that “we had perfect running conditions”, with unexpected sunshine throughout the day.

Theelen says he’s happy with his time of one hour and 47 minutes, and says the course was “spectacular” to run.

Overall, Daniel Jones, of Wellington, took home his first-ever marathon win with a time of just over two hours and 32 minutes.

The 28-year-old finished more than 10 minutes ahead of runners-up Alex Cowden and Ewan Sinclair.

British runner Hannah Oldroyd, of Christchurch, took home the women’s title once again with a time of two hours, 52 minutes and 13 seconds, after winning gold last year.

The 31-year-old celebrated becoming back-to-back champ-ion with her usual can of Guinness after crossing the finish-line.

Cromwell’s Daniel Balchin defended his title in the half marathon, with Aucklander Lisa Cross winning the women’s race while dealing with a painful burst blister for the last stretch.

Evan Elder and Rebekah Greene both set records in the Cigna 10k race, winning the respective men’s and women’s titles. Queenstowner Sarah Douglas finished second.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz