Aaron Pulford won his second senior national title at the New Zealand 10,000m track champs at Mt Smart in Auckland on Sunday night. The winning time for the New Zealand junior 10,000m record holder was 29:47.09.
Pulford, whose only previous title was the Half Marathon championship in 2011, ran most of the race with Wellington's Hamish Carson on his shoulder. They passed through the 5000m mark in 14:51 but with four laps of the 25 lap journey remaining, Pulford, from Thames made the decisive break and Carson the two times national 1500m champion could not respond.
As Carson dropped back, he was in danger of losing second place to a fast finishing Jono Jackson from Auckland, but he did enough in the last lap to hold out Jackson. Both runners recorded personal best times of 30:10.38 and 30:16.23 respectively.
Wanaka's Oska Inkster-Baynes placed fourth in a personal best 30:31.41, his fourth personal best in a busy eight days of racing around the North Island.
Lydia O'Donnell was the clear winner in the women's championship although she was beaten to the line by visiting Australian Sarah Klein. Klein's race-winning time was 34:53.99 while O'Donnell from Auckland recorded a personal best of 35:05.53 taking out the New Zealand title. Fellow Aucklanders Alice Mason and Kelly Parlane filled the minor placings.
Matthew Dryden won the junior men's title in 33:30.50.
Athletics New Zealand 10,000m Championships
Senior Men: 1 Aaron Pulford (Whangamata) 29:47.09, 2 Hamish Carson (Wellington Scottish) 30:10.38, 3 Jonno Jackson (Auckland City) 30:16.23.
Senior Women: 1 Lydia O'Donnell (NHB) 35:05.53, 2 Alice Mason (NHB) 37:40.16, 3 Kelly Parlane (PAKU) 39:07.00.
Race won by Sarah Klein (Aust) 34:53.99.
Junior Men (U20): 1 Mathew Dryden (Avon) 33:30.50.