Just a matter of weeks after the highly successful 2016 Air New Zealand Queenstown Marathon, entries are opening for the 2017 event.
Entries will go on sale on Thursday at 11am (NZT) and, on the back of this year’s record-breaking event with 9,544 entries, organisers are expecting demand to be high across all race distances. Adding to the excitement for those taking part next year are a number of innovations to the race programme.
The 2017 Queenstown Marathon will take place on Saturday, November 18. For the first time, the event will include a limited-capacity half marathon course, taking in the first half of the Air New Zealand Marathon course and starting and finishing at the stunning Millbrook Resort. There will also be a new marathon course that misses out the infamous “marathon hill” and results in a flatter course for all competitors.
The 2016 event was a sellout, with 1,594 international runners representing 49 countries as far afield as China, the United States, Great Britain, Hong Kong Singapore and Australia.
IRONMAN Oceania hosts the Queenstown Marathon, along with a series of other high-profile sporting events across the country. Managing Director Dave Beeche says the event must continue to provide fresh and exciting challenges for people returning each year, with the new “First Half” a significant part of that approach.
Dave says the new marathon course will be a little bit like going back to the future. “We are at last able to return to the original course that we had planned – something that will mean a new challenge for those taking part.
“Thanks to the wonderful work of our official charity, the Queenstown Trails Trust, we can now take runners on the originally planned riverside trail course and past yet more amazing scenery as they approach the finish line,” he says.
The First Half race option sits alongside the NZ Sotheby’s RE Half Marathon, but will limit the number of competitors allowed to take part. Entrants must have previously competed in a race (of any distance) during the event’s three-year history.
First Half runners will set out from the same start position as the full marathon runners. They will make their way down The Avenue at Millbrook Resort and head towards the historic settlement of Arrowtown before following the shoreline of Lake Hayes back to Millbrook.
Other events featured in the Air New Zealand Queenstown Marathon include the Kids Race (2.2 kilometres from Queenstown Gardens to the Queenstown Recreation Ground), the AIA 10 km, the NZ Sotheby’s RE Half Marathon and, of course, the full Air New Zealand Marathon.
ENTRIES OPEN ON THURSDAY
Entries for all events in the Air New Zealand Queenstown Marathon open online at 11am on Thursday, 1 December. For more information and to enter, click here.