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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Thousands compete in 2013 Auckland Marathon

Sunday 3 Nov 2013 1:15 p.m.

Seventeen thousand runners and walkers have pounded the pavements around Auckland's CBD this morning for the city's annual marathon.

Samuel Wreford of Timaru took out the men's marathon title, completing the course in a time of just under 2 hours and 19 minutes.

Wreford was happy with his performance despite not beating the course record.

"I'm [feeling] pretty good, I really just went out there and enjoyed it. I love the 42 kilometres, it's my passion and I love nothing better than getting out there and running hard," Wreford said.

"It's a lumpy course, you lose a couple of minutes at least, we went out probably on 2h 30m pace for the first five kilometres so probably lost a couple of minutes there."

The event was first staged in 1936, but has been running in its current format for 21 years, starting at Devonport on Auckland's North Shore and finishing at Victoria Park in the CBD.

Australian Kirsten Molloy claimed line honours in the women's full marathon, finishing in a time of 2 hours and 52 minutes – 10 minutes slower than her personal best.

Molloy raced in Auckland two years ago, finishing in second place and she says she's delighted to go one better today.

She also had praise for the course alterations and the scenic aspect of the race.

"It was faster and way prettier because you run on the other side of the bridge so you get to see the whole city, it's awesome."

The event caters to all abilities - including a quarter marathon, a five-kilometre challenge and a children's category.

It allows competitors in all categories to cross the Harbour Bridge, with three lanes on the southbound side closed to traffic during the race.

This year's Auckland Marathon is helping raise money for a number of charities including The City Mission, Breast Cancer Foundation, and Cure Kids.

The event takes a year to organise - with more than 800 volunteers helping out today alone.

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