Japanese runners-scored a double at the 53rd running of the Rotorua Marathon, taking out both the men’s and women’s races on Saturday morning.

Saeki Makino winning 2017 Rotorua Marathon. Credit Alan McDonald Macspeedfoto.

Saeki Makino won the men’s race in 2:21:58, the fastest winning time in the race since 2001, while compatriot Yuki Ogawa took out the women’s race in 2:54:14

Makino made his intentions clear right from the start, hitting the lead from the first 200m to lead the field on a merry chase for the entire length of the 42km circuit of Lake Rotorua.

Chris Sanson from Palmerston North gave brief chase but had lost over a minute by 10km and was 2:40 in arrears by the half way mark. Auckland’s Jono Jackson, running in third place was another 2:25 adrift at half way.

The runner from Kawaguchi,  who also won the Taipei Marathon in February this year, hit the finish line looking very happy and fresh despite his exertions on the tough Rotorua course, 5:13 ahead of second placed Sanson who also finished second in 2016.

Sanson had the satisfaction of running a personal best time, knocking 59 seconds off his time at Rotorua last year.

Jackson was another 5:33 behind Sanson, repeating his third place at Rotorua in 2015.

The women’s race was quite different with local Rotorua runner Johanna Ottosson leading Ogawa early in the race before the Japanese runner made up ground and the two ran together for a time.

Ogawa edged ahead to lead at the half way point by a minute and held that lead for the second half of the race, eventually winning in 2:54:14 with a margin of 1:43.

Katie Wyrill from Auckland finished third in 3:02:21.

In the RECT Half Marathon, Melbourne based Kiwi Josh Maisey was a clear winner in 1:09:29 from Sam Pendreigh (Albany) 1:13:06 and Simon Cochrane from Hamilton in 1:13.59.

National half marathon champion Olivia Burne from Auckland gave a master class, taking out the women’s half marathon, recording 1:16:27 with a big gap back to Erin Furness (Hamilton) in second and Megan Grant from Rotorua.

Included in the field was Kuniyoshi Kawai from Japan who ran his 800th Marathon at Rotorua this year, finishing 695th in 6:01:36.

Over 5200 took part in the events at Rotorua Marathon this year from the kids Mini-Marathon on Friday to the Full Marathon.


Marathon Men

  1. Saeki Makino                Japan                    2:21:58
  2. Chris Sanson                  Palmerston Nth2:27:11
  3. Jonathan Jackson        Auckland             2:32:44
  4. Matt Parsonage           Rotorua                2:40:12
  5. Ben Wreford                 Timaru                  2:43:47


Marathon Women

  1. Yuki Ogawa   Japan                                    2:54:14
  2. Johanna Ottosson       Rotorua                2:55:57
  3. Katie Wyrill                     Auckland             3:02:21
  4. Kovo Macdonald         Taupiri                  3:09:00
  5. Letha Whitham            Wellington          3:15:00


Marathon Walk Men

  1. Cliff Harrison                 Auckland             4:56:26
  2. David Jones                   Palmerston Nth 5:00:50
  3. Ron Soper                      Christchurch       5:04:49


Marathon Walk Women

  1. Donna Roderick           Taumarunui        4:45:27
  2. Penny Purcell                Tauranga             4:55:17
  3. Helen Meyer                 Auckland             5:11:08


Half Marathon Men

  1. Josh Maisey                   Auckland             1:09:29
  2. Sam Pendriegh             Albany                  1:13:06
  3. Simon Cochrane          Hamilton              1:13:59


Half Marathon Women

  1. Olivia Burne                   Auckland             1:16:27
  2. Erin Furness                   Hamilton              1:25:02
  3. Megan Grant                Rotorua                1:27:12


Half Marathon Wheelchair

  1. Dan Buckingham          Auckland             1:13:10


Half Marathon Walk Men

  1. Derren Hutchinson     Taradale               2:14:45
  2. John Wesseling            Auckland             2:15:26
  3. Caleb Koia-hamling     Paeroa                  2:29:01


Half Marathon Walk Women

  1. Laura Langley                Taradale               1:52:22
  2. Anne Day                        Rotorua                2:28:49
  3. Margoth Jaime             Auckland             2:30:57


Quarter Marathon Men

  1. Kane Fellingham          Hastings               37:09
  2. Dave Cronshaw            Rotorua                39:06
  3. Brad Coleman               Wellington          40:43


Quarter Marathon Women

  1. Anja Vlasic                      Auckland             1:06:59
  2. Kaye Germann             Tauranga             1:11:05
  3. Joanna Koat                   Auckland             1:14:19


Full Results