Ready, set: Cook Brothers Construction's entering project managers, from left, Sarah Holdom, Luke Small and Mary Mitchell in the Business Tie Half Marathon Challenge


Local businesses are being encouraged to sign up and suit up for running and fundraising challenges involving November’s Queenstown Half Marathon.

The Wakatipu Business Tie Challenge, ‘Suit Up!’, sees 20 business teams of three not only training for and running the event but also fundraising for two causes — the Wakatipu High School Foundation and the school’s Year 10 Branches Camp.

In addition to a $750 team entry fee, team members each have to raise at least $500, which goes towards those two causes.

The team contributing the most funds wins a major prize.

In addition there’ll be a prize for the winning half marathon team based on runners’ individual times adjusted by age handicap.

Each team has to include at least one female.

There are also prizes for the fastest boss and the best-dressed team.

WHS Foundation chairman Wayne Foley, who raised $28,000 for the foundation when he ran the 2017 Queenstown Marathon, says the business tie challenge is an outgrowth of
an initiative last year when marathon naming sponsor, realtor New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty, sponsored almost 50 high school students and staff to run the marathon, half marathon or 10km run.

WHS Foundation’s already pre-purchased 60 half marathon entries, as the event usually sells out quickly.

‘‘We’re encouraging businesses to come onboard early,’’ Foley says.

‘‘And that way you’ve got time to get fit.’’

Aside from the valuable role his foundation plays in supporting the school, he points out Branches Charitable Trust’s more reliant than ever on fundraising as the Ministry of Education no longer allows schools to charge parents for camps.

To enter, visit