Perfect race conditions led to some extremely close results and a new female track record in the 11th annual Routeburn Classic adventure run.
The adventure run was staged on New Zealand's world famous Routeburn Track at Anzac weekend, and this year featured a tight tussle among some of the country's top endurance racers.
In the men's division, it was fifth time lucky for Nick Hirschfeld, of Hanmer Springs - after coming second twice before, he finally knocked off top spot in a time of 2hr 47min 20sec, but it not without a close battle.
Hirschfeld, 38, had previously twice gone under the course record, but both times finished second.
This year saw him in an epic battle with Wanaka's Grant Guise, the pair never more than 20 seconds to a minute apart throughout the rugged 32km course.
At the finish line, Guise was just 13sec behind Hirschfeld in a time of 2:47:33, while 15-year-old Craig Murray, of Wanaka, the son of biking and multisport legend Keith Murray, stamped his mark on the race with a time of 2:58:59.
Queenstown's Sarah Douglas took out top honours in the women's division in a new women's record time of 3hr 16min 48sec, beating Wanaka's Jess Simson into second spot in 3:20:10 and Fiona Dowling of Wellington into third with 3:33:32.
- The Southland Times