A new Queenstown International Marathon and associated running festival has been officially launched tonight (Tuesday).
The mostly dead-flat marathon, delivered by Auckland-based event company Upsolut Sports Oceania, will run from Millbrook Resort, near Arrowtown, to Queenstown on Saturday November 22 next year.
Sixty per cent of the marathon, which will be accompanied by a half-marathon, 10km event and a 3km kids’ run, will run on hard-packed trails, with the balance on roads.
The Queenstown Trails Trust has been chosen as the running festival’s official charity.
The trust will receive $10 from every entrant to help it develop and maintain its 100km-plus trails network.
Tourism New Zealand boss Kevin Bowler, who’s a keen runner, says the 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.”
Upsolut Sports Ocean chief executive Dave Beeche – whose company has run the ITU World Triathlon Championships – believes the event will quickly become a bucket list event for runners around 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.”
Multi-sport veteran Steve Gurney, who recently shifted to Queenstown, adds: “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.”
The event website, which went live tonight, is www.queenstown-marathon.co.nz.
Upsolut Sports Oceania was recently granted $80,000 by the Queenstown council’s new events fund to organise and market the running festival.
‘Incredible course’: Nine-times former Coast to Coast champion Steve Gurney jogs part of the Queenstown International Marathon course