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10th Motatapu celebrates in style with sporting elites

March 10 2014

10th Motatapu celebrates in style with Olympians, NZ sporting elite and 10 year race veterans

The 10th annual Motatapu Off-Road Sporting Event held in Wanaka and Queenstown last weekend (Saturday March 8) has been hailed “the best yet” attracting a spectacular and record-breaking line-up of competitors.

No less than 10 Kiwi Olympians competed in the iconic event racing alongside many of New Zealand’s sporting elite and everyday folk who swam, ran, biked, walked and hiked their way through the stunning course.

Queenstown Trails Trust CEO Mandy Kennedy said she was “overwhelmed with the support the race had received” from competitors and supporters on both sides of the divide.

“It was just a fantastic day and we’re so thankful to the entire Motatapu team, volunteers and supporters who make this event so special. We couldn’t do this without them,” she said.

“This was the Queenstown Trails Trust’s first Motatapu as owners and we’re privileged to have had so many exceptional New Zealand athletes lining up to compete. Not only did we have 10 Olympians this year, we also attracted a number of New Zealand’s best elite athletes.”

Some of the sporting elite who competed were Braden Currie and Nicky Samuels in the XTERRA UDC Finance Triathlon and Kate Fluker, Dirk Peters, Sam Gaze and Amber Johnston in the Speight’s Summit Mountain Bike Event.

“What better way to celebrate our 10 years of Motatapu than with the impressive line-up of sporting elite that chose to compete. It was a ‘who’s-who’ of the sporting world at the start and finish lines.”

“Where else can you see ‘weekend warriors’ competing alongside these amazing athletes? That is what makes the Motatapu such an iconic event and of course the opportunity to venture into the Motatapu Valley only once a year to take in the spectacular scenery.”

A full list of the race results can be found at

The 10th Motatapu event was extra special in many ways. Not only did the Speight’s Summit Mountain Bike sell-out in record time there was a record number of entrants competing.

There were also a number of course records broken on the day.

In the Speight’s Summit Mountain Bike elite women ‘s category, course record holder and favourite Kate Fluker took first place once again with a time of 2hr 8min 31sec to beat her own course record by just under a minute.

In the 15km Miner’s Trail event the first male runner home was Alun Williams from Queenstown in a time of 1hour 16mins 29 secs, setting a new course record, and first female was Louisa Andrew from Dunedin who also broke her own course record in 1hr 28mins 46sec.

In the XTERRA UDC Finance Triathlon female winner Nicky Samuels came home in 4:17:10, defending her title from 2013 and breaking her own course record by nearly four minutes.

“This record breaking year firmly establishes ‘The Motatapu’ as a must do bucket-list event and we’ve fast become New Zealand’s leading multi-sport event attracting Olympians and the country’s elite.”

Next year’s 11th Motatapu Off-Road Sporting Event will take place on Saturday March 7 2015. Entries open online at from July 1 2014.

A full list of Olympians who competed in the 2014 Motatapu Off-Road Sporting Event:
1. Jo Aleh
2. Peter Burling
3. Hamish Carter
4. Nathan Cohen
5. Mahe Drysdale
6. Kris Gemmell
7. Peter Miskimmin
8. Polly Powrie
9. Nicky Samuels
10. Sarah Ulmer

About the Motatapu Off-Road Sporting Event
The inaugural Motatapu was first held in 2005, offering a mountain bike or marathon option, and attracted 1,000 participants. Now over 4,000 people take part in five different events, all held on the same day. Event options are the Speight’s Summit Mountain Bike, Icebreaker Off-Road Marathon, 15km Miner’s Trail, XTERRA UDC Finance Triathlon and R&R Sport 49km 2-Person Adventure.

This year, the Motatapu celebrated 10 successful years, and is widely regarded as one of the best multi-sport events in New Zealand, if not Australasia. Every year competitors from all corners of the world compete in the event from world-class athletes to first timers who train specifically for the event.

Motatapu has a reputation as being “the bucket list race” situated amid some of the most stunning scenery in the world. All nett profits go to the Queenstown Trails Trust.

‘The Motatapu’ is owned by the Queenstown Trails Trust with nett proceeds of the event going toward funding the ongoing development of trails in the Wakatipu and to ensure the high standard of the Queenstown Trail is maintained.


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