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Challenge Yourself in the Capital


Challenge Yourself in the Capital

Looking for a mid-winter running goal? Then join 5000 others for Wellington’s Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and Kids’ Magic Mile.

Scheduled this year for Sunday June 23, the Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon has been Wellington’s major mid-winter event for more than two decades. In recent years it has become New Zealand’s fastest growing marathon event and this year will also play host to the New Zealand Marathon Championship.

Established by the Wellington Marathon Clinic in 1986, the event was a popular local event for almost 20 years. But since 2003, when they shifted the race base to Westpac Stadium and establishing a safer and more scenic waterfront course, entries have grown from less than 1000 to almost 5000 runners and walkers from more than a dozen countries.

Race director Sally Anderson says, “This year we’re looking to surpass 5000 entries for the first time.”

Anderson says the success behind the annual event is simple. Along with the scenic and achievable course, they cater for people of all age and ability.

“The Wellington Marathon Clinic organises this event to promote fitness and running and walking,” says Anderson. “But people come from different fitness backgrounds and have different goals, so we provide something for everyone. Not everyone has the time or inclination to train for Armstrong Motor Group Full Marathon, but most people can achieve the Shoe Clinic Half Marathon, or the adidas 10K, and the Classic Hits Kids’ Magic Mile makes it a family occasion.”

One runner who is always up for a marathon is Gold Coast-based Kiwi, Dale Warrander. The 38 year old former Olympian is among early entries for the Full Marathon, which will double as the national championship.

Warrander has won every major road running event and national distance running championship in New Zealand, except the Wellington event, which is something he is hoping to put right on June 23.

Keeping Warrander honest will be Rotorua’s Steve O’Callaghan, who won the Half Marathon option three years ago and is keen to add the Full Marathon and national title that goes with it. Their tussle is likely to rewrite Grant McLean’s 2004 race record of 2hrs 31min 38secs.

“That our event is attracting the best runners is a sign of its growing stature,” says Anderson. “But first and foremost this event is all about ordinary people setting personal goals.”

One of the goals many entrants choose is to participate in support of the New Zealand Heart Foundation, who is the official charity of the Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon.

Entries for the 2013 Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon event are now open, and every entrant goes into a prize draw for a trip to the 2014 London Marathon. You pick up an entry form at Shoe Clinic stores nationwide, or enter online at www.wellingtonmarathon.co.nz.

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