Katrin Gottschalk's domination of the women's race in the Taranaki Mountain to Surf marathon continued yesterday.
Third in her first attempt at the Bayleys-sponsored 42.2km race in 2012, the Auckland runner won last year's race and repeated the feat yesterday, dipping under the three-hour mark.
"I like this race, it's downhill running which I like," said Gottschalk afterwards. "The last 10km is hard, but this year I slowed down a little when I knew I was on time at the 32km mark to go under three hours."
Her winning time of two hours, 57 minutes and 33 seconds was a personal best.
"I'm really happy with that time. Two years ago, my time was three hours, four minutes. Last year, I won in three hours, two minutes."
Gottschalk, who came to New Zealand from Germany seven years ago with the intention of staying only a year, said conditions were perfect.
"Not too hot and no wind. The temperature was good."
The 35-year-old said the Mountain to Surf marathon was a perfect "training run" for the Tarawera ultra marathon in two weeks.
"I'm doing the 85km run. I started doing ultra marathons last year and I did a 100km race in Christchurch last year.
"The Tarawera event is a bit hard, it's a trail run. There's lots of climbing. I did the 60km race last year and developed stomach cramps . . . the last 10km were really hard. This is another challenge, I'm looking at nine to 10 hours. It's not easy."
As for a fourth crack at the Mountain to Surf marathon next year?
"I have to come back with two firsts . . . maybe a free entry?"
Eight minutes behind Gottschalk was Taupiri runner Louise Kowalewski in second spot, with a long gap back to Nelda Hazelhurst from Whanganui.
First Taranaki runner home was Stratford's Zoe Zimmerman in sixth spot in 3hr 25min 58sec just in front to New Plymouth's Corina Henderson in 3hr 27min 46sec.
- Taranaki Daily News
Is Ma'a Nonu returning to the Hurricanes ...Related story: Ma'a Nonu's return to Hurricanes confirmed