Queenstown marathon spawns new clothing range

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A GLOBAL sportswear giant has launched a new clothing range for the inaugural Queenstown Marathon.

Japanese firm ASICS is selling limited edition running tops, hoodies, singlets and caps featuring a line-drawing logo of the iconic Remarkables mountain range.

And organisers Lagardere Unlimited Oceania (LUO) say the people wearing them are likely to be from out-of-town.

Of the thousands who’ve signed up for the November marathon, 80 per cent are from elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas – providing a tourism boost for the resort.

LUO chief executive Dave Beeche says his Auckland-based firm will soon place a cap on the marathon entries.

“We’ll make an announcement on a cap in the next few weeks,” Beeche says.

“We’re staggered at how quickly it’s taken off – you don’t often get a new event that has that torque.

“It’s locked in annually and we’ve proved the concept before we’ve even got year one under the belt.

“But we want locals to get behind it, so if anyone’s dithering about entering, now’s the time.”

ASICS and Air New Zealand are official sponsors of the Queenstown International Marathon. The course is from Milbrook Resort, near Arrowtown, to Queenstown, and the race will be held on Saturday, November 22.

ASICS also sponsors the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Auckland, another LUO event.

“The long-term success of events always relies on good partnerships, so to have them on board for the marathon is fantastic,” Beeche says.

The Remarkables motif is the event’s official logo.

The range is available on ASICS’ website and the marathon website, he says.

“We put a lot of work into that brand design – good professional events these days have to have a good look and feel,” Beeche says.

“The merch range has come up nicely. The more time and effort you put into the design side, the better it goes.”

Tourism New Zealand boss Kevin Bowler, a keen runner, said in November that the marathon has the potential to become an iconic New Zealand event.

Beeche says he’s already had interest from two top Kenyan runners, although the intention is the marathon be more about the experience than a purists’ road race.

The 42km marathon is part of a running festival incorporating 21km, 10km and 3km distances.