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Anyone Can Win At Wellington’s Marathon

Anyone Can Win At Wellington’s Marathon

The Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon has been an annual highlight on the Capital calendar for more than three decades. The race attracts some of the country’s best runners, but this year one lucky finisher among more than 4000 will drive away in a new Volkswagen car.

Established in 1986, the annual event has been Wellington’s major marathon event for 30-plus years. With more than 4000 participants every year, it is one of the New Zealand’s “Big Five”, alongside the Auckland, Queenstown, Rotorua and Christchurch marathons.

Based at Wellington’s much-loved Westpac Stadium, the event follows a flat, fast and scenic tour of the harbour bays that is popular amongst elite and recreational runners and walkers alike. The event features something for everyone, including the Kids’ Magic Mile, 10k, half marathon and the classic 42.2k full marathon.

But this is a race where anyone can be a winner. Every finisher wins a medal, but this year’s race on July 1st will see one lucky finisher win a Volkswagen Polo courtesy of Wellington motor company Gazley Volkswagen.

“Gazley Volkswagen have been the principal sponsor for three years now and they wanted to do something than resonated with every participant,” says event manager, Michael Jacques. “And what better way than every finisher having a chance to win a Volkswagen.”

Jacques says the prize is part the Wellington Marathon’s focus on being an event that truly has something for everyone. “Most races really only recognise the winners, but everyone is putting in the same effort so everyone should have a chance for that effort to be rewarded.”

Alongside the Volkswagen Polo, every finisher also has a chance to win a trip to the New Caledonia Marathon and the first Wellington woman in the feature full marathon will win a trip to Japan’s Senshu Marathon.

The Japanese prize is part of Wellington’s sister city relationship with Sakai city in Osaka. Both cities have strong running traditions and have annual exchanges whereby the first Wellington runner from the Wellington Marathon and the first Sakai runner from their Senshu Marathon win trips to each other’s events.

The exchange alternates annually between the first male and female. This year’s Sakai representative is 43-year-old Miyuki Usui, who finished fifth and second masters woman in the Senshu race last February.

“The Volkswagen Polo is a great way to motivate and reward people for supporting our event, says Jacques. “But the marathon travel prizes to New Caledonia and Japan are a great way to promote Wellington and motivate people to have a crack at running’s ultimate goal.”

Some runners, of course, just don’t need any motivation. Wellington’s Des Young is the only person to have completed all 32 editions of the Gazley Volkswagen Wellington marathon. Once upon a time Young was a regular in the top-10 finishers, but these days the 61-year-old is happy to keep his streak alive and enjoy the occasion.

But even Young is impressed with the entry of Masterton’s Peter Tearle. The 92 year is down for the 10k walk and last year the fitness and experience gained from more than 50 years of competitive race walking saw him leave half the walk field in his wake.

The 2018 Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon is scheduled for July 1st. For full information and online entry visit wellingtonmarathon.kiwi.

© Scoop Media

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