Sat, 21 May 2022

AUCKLAND, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of runners across New Zealand hit the picturesque race course on iconic harbor bridge as the postponed ASB Auckland Marathon celebrate its 30th anniversary.

New Zealand's largest marathon, which was postponed from its original date in October 2021, witnessed over 8,000 participants.

Home runner Daniel Jones won the men's full marathon for the second year with a time of two hours 20 minutes and 22 seconds, just three minutes behind the course record.

"It's just fantastic. It's probably the first time being up in Auckland again since probably last time I raced and it's always a good atmosphere at this race, people ride along the course cheering you on, so it's very much appreciated especially in the heat of the day," Jones said.

Lisa Cross of New Zealand stormed to secure her second women's title in 2:50:46, 10 years on from her first in 2011.

"It's awesome," said Cross. "I would've liked to have beaten my time but its 10 years on and it's a lot hotter, but I did everything I could. I was just on my own the whole way so that made it tough."

The event once again offered participants the chance to run or walk over the Auckland Harbor Bridge and take in the best views of the city - an experience that has been an integral part of the event since its 1992 inception.

Amy MacCormack, director for the race organizers, said everyone is excited to get an event underway after a COVID-19 impacted 2021.

"The ASB Auckland Marathon team couldn't be happier to finally deliver a major event here in New Zealand, an occasion that will be made extra special by the 30th-anniversary celebrations of this iconic and much-loved event," said MacCormack.

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