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Marathon Entries On The Up

Marathon Entries On The Up

Organisers of the Christchurch Airport Marathon say their event is poised to return to pre-earthquake participation levels.

Scheduled for Sunday 1st June, entries for the 2014 Christchurch Airport Marathon are close to the record numbers of 2009 and 2010, when more than 5000 runners and walkers lined up for the annual Queen’s Birthday Weekend event.

Race director Chris Cox and his organisational group are over the moon with the post-earthquake rebuild of their event.

“Entries so far indicate that race day will be at least 5000 people,” says Cox.

“It’s really encouraging. In 2010 we had a record entry of 5800 participants, but the earthquakes forced the event out of the city and cut entries almost in half.

“But we managed to keep it alive, then Christchurch Airport came on board as the principal sponsor and now the marathon continues to gradually recover and rebuild alongside Christchurch.

“In 2011 we had 3300 entries, then 4300 in 2012 and 4700 last year. Today, entries are very close to where we were in 2010, so we’re almost back to the pre-quake participation.”

Cox says principal sponsor Christchurch Airport has been a big part of the event’s fast recovery, providing a venue and increased promotional muscle, but he adds “Honestly, I think it’s the community that kept the race alive. The support from everyone, from sponsors to volunteers to participants, has been amazing.”

Indeed, the Christchurch Airport Marathon has always been a reflection of the wider community. With options including the Full Marathon run, Half Marathon run and walk, the 10k run and walk and the Kids’ 3k Mara’Fun, this is a festival of fitness with something for everyone. This year is also a 1.5k option for children under six years old.

“It’s about providing a goal and a challenge for people of all ages, ability and aspiration,” says Cox.

“We challenge everyone from individuals to schools, businesses and community groups to be part of a great occasion. Businesses like The Press newspaper enter big staff groups and there are several schools training for it as part of their NCEA exercise science studies.”

One runner with a lofty goal is Napier runner Warren Bernard. The 32 year old is including the Christchurch Airport Marathon in his bid to finish 20 marathons in 20 months. The Christchurch event will be the eighth of his 20.

Continuing with the community theme, this year’s Christchurch Airport Marathon will benefit Ronald McDonald House South Island. Participants are encouraged to sign up to run and raise funds for the family support charity.

For entries and information visit www.christchurchmarathon.co.nz. Race


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