Record Entries for Queenstown International Marathon

Published: Tue 8 Nov 2016 02:07 PM
Record Entries for Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon
In just its third year the Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon has attracted record entries for the November 19 event, with 9,544 people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities signed up across all events, with 1,936 of those registered for the full Air New Zealand Marathon distance.
With organisers conscious of protecting the experience for those taking part on the primarily off-road trails that make up the course, entries in all events are at or near capacity in what has quickly become an iconic event on the New Zealand and global running calendar.
Event Director Nicole Fairweather says the response has been fantastic.
“Given the incredible popularity of the Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon, we set caps on each of the events to ensure there was no compromising the quality of the experience for the runners. Even with those caps however, we are very proud and humbled that in just our third year we are in the conversation alongside the most popular marathon events in the country and continue to show strong growth year upon year.
“Demand for entries has been high across all events, especially from people outside the Queenstown Lakes District, with 90% of those entered coming from other parts of New Zealand or overseas. Highlighting the appeal of the event and the location is that we will have 49 countries represented, with 1,594 international runners coming from places as far afield as Australia, China, USA, Hong Kong, Great Britain and Singapore.”
An increase in visitors from outside the region means increased tourism and spending around the event, with the hospitality and tourism sectors set for a boom weekend as not only the participants arrive in town, but bring their families and supporters with them.
That demand will see Air New Zealand operate nearly 1,400 extra seats into Queenstown in the days prior to the race delivering runners and supporters into the region for what is a festival of running followed no doubt by some ‘sampling’ of the many tourism activities the Queenstown Lakes District has to offer.
All events have proven popular and have seen an increase on last year’s already superb overall turnout, highlighted by the 1,936 registered for the full Air New Zealand Marathon. The AIA 10k was the first event to sell out, with 2,148 signed up, the NZ Sotheby’s RE Half Marathon also proving hugely popular as many look to build towards a tilt at the full Air New Zealand Marathon in future years with 5,306 signed up for the 21.1km distance.
It is the women who lead the way in Queenstown, making up 62% of all entries. A popular trend amongst the reasons for entering is the chance not only to participate in the event, but to then enjoy a weekend away with friends or family, highlighting the value in the destination for this event.
Just as the home towns are varied, the age range is wide from the youngest entrants (numerous five year olds are signed up for the Kids Run) to the oldest entrant in 81 year old David Graham who is taking on the NZ Sotheby’s RE Half Marathon. Incredibly it is a first for David who is running as part of three generations of the family taking part on the day.
The Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon enjoys the support of local businesses too, with the weekend proving to be one of the busiest for a region that relies heavily on tourism.
“The weekend of the Queenstown Marathon has become one of the busiest of the year for us at both Madam Woo and Rata and it is something that we are very keen to see continue”, said Hayley Scott, Operations Manager for Mayfare Group.
“The demographic of the people attending the race are such that they are also here to get out and enjoy the region and often bring supporters and family.
“There is no doubt that it is a great event economically for the region but is also a great event for the community and one that benefits the region as a whole by promoting and celebrating the ideals of getting out there and enjoying the great outdoors and the gorgeous scenery that we are so well known for.”
Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon – By the Numbers
• Male –38%, Female 62%
• Average Age 42 years
• Youngest – 5 years
• Oldest – 81 years
• Total entries – 9,544
• Kids fun run – 154
• AIA 10km – 2,148
• NZ Sotheby’s RE Half Marathon – 5,306
• Air New Zealand Marathon – 1,936
• 90% entrants from out of the Queenstown Lakes District
• 49 countries represented
• 16% of entrants are international visitors (1,598)
o Australia 885, China 225, USA 148, Hong Kong 57 GB 40, Singapore 40
• Extra Air New Zealand flights – 18 (3,078 seats)

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