By PHILIP CHANDLER
It’s said in life you should run your own race — now, thanks to a world-first Queenstown start-up, you literally can.
Queenstown entrepreneur Tuki Huck is launching his Official Tracks business on December 4, aimed at runners of all abilities.
With a timing chip, registered online, you can cross a start line at either of two local ‘gates’ — outside Hilton hotel and on Marine Parade — then choose a 2.4km, 5km, 10km, 18km or 36km track, taking in the Gardens and/or Frankton Track.
Your time’s then recorded when you finish at either gate, then posted on Official Tracks
leaderboards — you’re even alerted when you record a personal best time.
Tahitian-born Huck — who’s lived here for six years after holidaying here when his parents
owned a resort holiday home — came up with the idea 18 months ago as he watched running races around the world being canned due to Covid.
He soft-launched the business during last year’s Queenstown Marathon, and meant to properly launch it last Saturday before this year’s event was postponed till March.
Official Tracks uses technology pioneered by global sports timing business Mylaps.
Local investor and financial advisor Jonathan Gurnsey’s a mentor and co-investor, while
other supporters include Hilton GM Chris Ehmann and Front runner retailer Paul Garvie.
‘‘The funny part is I’m not even a runner, so it’s a bit challenging having to run some of my tracks in testing, with no training,’’ Huck says.
‘‘But like anyone with the timing chip, I can take my time, run when I want and achieve a milestone, that’s part of the magic of it.
‘‘There’s no doubt some more dedicated runners will use it as a training tool and to engage in some local competition, as will visiting groups.
‘‘Queenstown has some stunning tracks alongside the lake, so it makes sense to use it as a launch pad for the business.
‘‘Official Tracks is a great way to get out and explore the Queenstown trails.’’
Gurnsey adds: ‘‘Tuki is a cool guy with a lovely idea that supports Queenstown in the first instance, but also has real global potential.’’
The timing chip can be bought online — via officialtracks.com — or at Hilton or Frontrunner’s Queenstown and Frankton stores.