Queenstown runner scoops dream holiday prize

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Queenstown runner Ruth Chapman-Olla was the envy of other competitors in the Frontrunner Series on Saturday after winning the $10,000-plus star prize.

Chapman-Olla, 32, landed the two-week all-inclusive trip to the Galapagos Islands after her name was picked from a hat after the final races of the series.

Runners who took on at least four of the seven multi-distance runs at Jack’s Point Golf Course over the past few months were entered into the prize draw.

Queenstown pre-school and nursery teacher Chapman-Olla says: “I didn’t actually quite believe it when they said my name.

“My husband Giulio was jumping up and down shouting but I was just stunned.

“It was a good day. I completed the half-marathon in 2 hours and 7 minutes and that included stopping to look for the dog at one point, so I was happy with the time.”

The couple plan to visit the islands in May, which are about 1000km west of Ecuador and where naturalist Charles Darwin made observations that would later take shape into his theory of evolution.

“It’s one of those places that you always want to go but you never think you will,” Chapman-Olla says, after competing in the Frontrunner Series for four years.

“I’m excited about seeing all the big tortoises and the volcanoes.”

The popular race series features 5km, 10km and half-marathon distances.