Out there doing it . . . Half marathon runners get started. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

More than 1500 runners and walkers laced up their sports shoes on Sunday morning to tackle the Cadbury Dunedin Marathon.

About 140 more participants tested their fitness in the full, half and quarter marathons this year than did so last year.

Race director Charlotte Meiklejohn said the increase was a pleasant surprise given entries in the race had been slowly decreasing for the past few years.

One hundred and fifty-six of the participants took on the full marathon, which started at Harington Point at 8am.

The half and quarter marathons started from Logan Park Dr after 9am.

Miss Meiklejohn said most of the runners managed to avoid any bad weather on the day, despite rain overnight and minutes before the start of the full marathon.

“A lot of people were actually quite grateful for the weather.

“It was raining all the way down to Harington Point and it stopped as soon as we got out of the buses.”

There was a period of hail at the finish line hours later but by then most of the participants had finished.

Miss Meiklejohn said she enjoyed watching the full marathon competitors progress around the course and interacting with them along the way.

There were plenty of hugs and high fives at the finish line, she said.

Sam McCutcheon was the first 42km runner to cross the finish line 2hr 27min 57sec, while Hannah Oldroyd was the first female home in 2hr 59min 22sec.

Kirk Madgewick was the winner of the half-marathon in 1hr 14min 45sec and Shauna Pali was the first female to cross the line in 1hr 25min 3sec.

Rozie Robinson led the way in the half marathon walk in 1hr 56min 44sec, followed by Brent Sutherland in 2hr 31min 27min.

In the quarter marathon run, Samuel Bremer was the first to reach Port Chalmers in 40min 41sec while Sarah Chisnall was the first female about 7min later.

In the walk, Alexander Brown won in 1hr 8min 13sec and Lara Findlater was the first female home in 1hr 28min 1sec.