About 200 people took on the gruelling 75km Bannockburn Gutbuster from Garston to Bannockburn in hot spring weather on Saturday.
Wanaka’s Annabel Anderson, of Wanaka, was first woman home in 3.51:17 and first in the masters section was Shaun Portegys, of Alexandra, in 3.25:33.
Only 27 seconds separated the first three across the line.
Paul Wright (19), of Wanaka, was first home in 3.15:02, Mike Sangster (24), of Alexandra, was second in 3.15:28 and Richard Dunnett (28), of Arrowtown, was third in 3.15:29.
The challenging course goes from Garston through the Nevis Valley into Bannockburn and competitors faced temperatures of up to 30degC for their last climb to the 1300m Duffers Saddle. Many said it was “a bit brutal” but race organiser Terry Davis said “it was
meant to be hard”.