Oldies join thousands

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Young-at-heart Queenstowners are attacking Motatapu’s 15km race this weekend.

Jacqueline and Peter Neumann, both in their early 70s, are back for their third Miners Trail run.

Nearly 3500 athletes will compete across five different disciplines on Saturday.

But the Neumanns are well attuned to a racing atmosphere.

The pair, married for nearly 30 years now, ran ultra-marathons together.

The duo moved to the resort from Auckland three years ago to retire, but both remain in tip-top shape.

Jacqueline: “We love walking and running and cycling – that’s why we love Queenstown.”

The unstoppable duo can also be found on ballroom dance floors.

In last year’s Motatapu, they crossed the finish line just minutes apart, at slightly over three hours.

This year they’re both hoping to creep under the three-hour mark.

“Normally he finishes about three minutes before me – he’ll be trying so hard to beat me,” Jacqueline laughs.

Before retiring, Peter was a dentist while Jacqueline spent her days as an anatomy and physiology lecturer.

The 15km Miners Trail is the shortest of the five Macpac Motatapu events, which include a 47km mountain bike, 42.2km marathon run, 64km triathlon and, if you’re completely mad, a 51km ultra run.

All events, except for the Miners Trail which starts and finishes in Arrowtown, begin in Wanaka’s Glendhu Bay, then, after a long slog through Motatapu, Soho and Glencoe stations, finish in Arrowtown’s Wilcox Green.

mandy.cooper@scene.co.nz