Queenstown to Host 'Bucket List' Marathon

Posted by Travel News in Travel News
Thursday, 12 December 2013

One of New Zealand’s most picturesque regions is set to play host to one of the most spectacular marathons the world has ever seen.

The inaugural Queenstown International Marathon is set to take place in the tourist mecca of Queenstown, on the South Island of New Zealand, in November 2014.

Festival of running
The festival of running kicks off on Saturday 22 November 2014 and offers participants a variety of racing options. A full marathon (42km) half marathon (21km) a 10km event and a 3km kids fun run ensures there are events for the whole family to enjoy.

This unique international event will be set against the backdrop of the world renowned Crown and Remarkable mountain ranges and takes in the best highlights of the Queenstown Lakes region, including a start near the Millbrook Resort - world famous for its championship 27 hole golf course and luxurious spa.

Majestic mountainous range
The marathon continues through the historic gold mining area of Arrowtown and the Arrow River track blooming with wildflowers. Lake Hayes, framed by a majestic mountainous range offers a glimpse of the Australasian crested grebe (kāmana) a species that belongs to an ancient order of diving water birds.

Runners will travel past the fast-flowing 75 kilometre-long Shotover River, famous for its thrilling white-water rafting adventures and bungy-jumping. The captivating Lake Wakatipu, the longest lake in New Zealand and a backdrop for various scenes in The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and the beautiful Queenstown gardens are next on the agenda.

Heart of Queenstown
The race finishes in the heart of Queenstown, with bars and restaurants offering the perfect ending to what is sure to become one of the most talked about marathons in the world.

The event will be delivered by Upsolut Sports Oceania Ltd, an event company with a reputation for world class sporting events in New Zealand. CEO Dave Beeche says the Queenstown International Marathon will quickly become a ‘bucket list’ event for people all over the world.

"We have been working on this for some time, recognising the gap in the market for an international running festival of this kind in Queenstown. Imagine the view as you take part, capturing the grandeur of the awe inspiring mountains, pristine lakes and stunning countryside in an almost dead flat marathon on a mix of hard packed trails and roads."

Iconic event
Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler agrees that the Queenstown International Marathon has the potential to become an iconic event.

"Set in the stunningly beautiful backdrop of Queenstown, the running festival is sure to attract significant interest from the world’s running community. It offers another fantastic opportunity to engage with special interest travellers - encouraging them to visit New Zealand and partake in a truly unique experience."

Parts of the Queenstown Bike Trail will also be used during the marathon giving runners a unique perspective on parts of the 110km+ trail which offers views of breathtaking vistas.

The utilisation of the track for the marathon will assist the Queenstown Trails Trust - charged with growing and maintaining the trails network for visitors to enjoy - with $10 from every entrant going towards the development and maintenance of the network of trails.

Stunning natural setting
New Zealand’s retired multiple world multi-sport champion Steve Gurney has long been an advocate for hosting of multi-sport events in the natural setting of New Zealand. He believes the Queenstown International Marathon is going to be one of the most diverse in the world.

"In a world full of marathons, the Queenstown International Marathon will have character; it is an incredible course with so much packed trail running on a gradual downhill from Millbrook to Queenstown, the biggest danger will be people stopping on course to take in the views. "

Background: Queenstown
Queenstown - New Zealand's ‘Adventure Capital’ - annually attracts more than a million visitors who come for everything from world-class skiing and snowboarding to bungy jumping, jet boating, and gourmet food and wines.

Summer pursuits during long hot days on Queenstown’s lakes include fishing, hiking and relaxation. Autumn’s crisp, clear days offer great golfing conditions, and the colourful contrast of falling leaves against a mountainous landscape. In winter, snow-covered mountains attract crowds of skiers and snowboarders to nearby ski-fields for an action-packed season that often lasts into spring.

Adventure and indulgence go hand-in-hand in Queenstown. The region has some of New Zealand’s best luxury accommodation, world-class golf courses, and award-winning wines.

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