Making Christchurch’s Marathon More Inclusive
The 2024 Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon is scheduled for April 21st, and organisers are moving to capitalise on 2023’s successful revamp with a bold goal of 5000 starters.
In 2023 the Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon kicked covid cancellations to the curb with a new sponsor, a new venue, a new course and almost 4000 participants. In 2024 it looks to become more inclusive with an eye to topping 5000 starters for the first time since 2015.
Based now within Hagley Park, the event revolves around a 10k lap around the CBD that highlights iconic landmarks such as Canterbury Museum, Cambridge Terrace and Oxford Terrace added to the popular Hagley Park and Avon River sections.
Christchurch Frontrunner owner, Oska Inkster-Baynes, has been a supporter of the event long before he became a sponsor and played a big part in the course re-design. “It’s always been a great event,” says the four-time winner. “But last years big changes really re-invigorated the atmosphere and experience. Customers are still talking about what a great day they had. So, the Frontrunner is looking forward to being a big part of the Christchurch Marathon future.”
Christchurch Marathon organiser, Chris Cox, thinks that future is all about inclusivity. “We’ve had so much positive feedback about how scenic and spectator friendly it was that we know we’re on the right track,” says Cox. “We now have an event that is sustainable, but above all else, that people want to run. So, the goal now is 5000 entries, and to do that we’re focused on making the event more inclusive and accessible so that more people might be inspired to get involved.”
In 2024 Cox and his crew are making the event more inclusive with fun new categories for best costume and the biggest school teams and corporate teams. But at the same time, they’ll be making the event more accessible with new entry fee and refund structures.
“We’re trying to create a festival of fitness for anyone and everyone,” explains Cox. “But with the current cost of living crisis the event needs to remain accessible too. So, this year we’ve established discounted fees for early entry and a refund insurance plan.
Continuing with the inclusivity theme, this year’s Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon will benefit Christchurch’s own Ranui House. Based opposite Christchurch Hospital, Ranui House provides accommodation for families from away who have loved ones in hospital care. Participants in the 2024 Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon are encouraged to make their run mean more by signing up to fund raise for Ranui House.
Scheduled for Sunday 21st April, options include the classic 42.2k marathon, a half marathon, a quarter marathon and the Kids’ Mara’Fun.