The police were both celebrating and agonising after producing the first Hong Kong finisher in the men's marathon, but managing only third place in the Disciplined Services Cup after a runner turned up late. Johnny Lai Hok-yan led the Hong Kong competitors home for the third time in four years, clocking two hours, 37 minutes and 43 seconds. The 37-year-old police constable saw off the challenge of Gi Ka-man, who crossed the line with a huge grin after setting a personal best for the distance of 2:41:08. Lai, who has been on form all season, posted 2:29:32 in the Dubai Marathon last month. 'I would have gone faster today, but the weather was really horrid,' Lai said. Wong Siu-ping was hoping to match Lai's effort and repeat their performances of 2007 and 2008 when they were crowned Hong Kong men's and women's champions, but her challenge fell just 20 seconds shy yesterday when she finished runner-up to Fan Sui-ping. 'I tried my best to close the gap but I just didn't have it in me today,' said Wong, 41, who was cheered over the finish line by her 15-year-old daughter Kylie. 'I placed 10th overall in the women's race in the Xiamen Marathon in January so I was hoping for a better time here today.' Mother-of-two Angelina Kong finished behind Fan and Wong in a personal best time of 3:08:39, and said the new route was better than the previous one. 'The views of Hong Kong Island from the new bridge were wonderful, and although there's a long climb to reach the crest of the hill, it doesn't really slow you down at all,' said Kong, 42, winner of the recent China Coast Marathon. Fan also said the new course was better. 'When you drive over the new bridge it seems very steep but when running it there's no negative effect,' Fan, 37, said. 'However, if it had been a windy day it could have been a very different story.' Chief Inspector Andy Naylor placed second overall in the men's 10km race but was left disappointed at his police team's finish in the Disciplined Services Cup after one team member was late arriving at the start. 'It wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that the runner who turned up late was also bringing another runner's number bib and chip,' said Naylor, who last weekend won the Dowman Road Race in Sai Kung, which is contested by current and retired Hong Kong police officers.