Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon Entries Hit Post-quake Record

Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon 2023 (Photo Supplied)

More than 5,000 people will lace up their shoes to run, jog or walk through Christchurch’s central city this weekend.

The 2024 Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon is set to get underway on Sunday morning (21 April) – this year with a notable increase in entries.

“We have around 25% more entries than last year, which is significant. Christchurch as a city is buzzing and our new course celebrates that,” Event Spokesperson Chris Cox says.

More than 27% of participants are travelling from around New Zealand to be at the event, while 136 athletes from 22 countries are coming from overseas.

The Christchurch Marathon has evolved significantly over the years; its 2023 course makeover earning positive praise from contestants and spectators alike. This year sees the highest number of entries since before the earthquakes.

“Christchurch is a city where you can do just about anything, and I think that’s what makes the Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon so special. After the run, contestants can head down to the terrace for a drink, check out the shops or simply enjoy the city’s vibe.

“Whether you’re participating in the event or part of a support crew, Christchurch is the ultimate playground and, as the numbers show, more people are being attracted to the city and this iconic event.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The course features stunning scenery – including the Avon River and North Hagley Park. Iconic landmarks like the Christchurch Town Hall, Canterbury Museum and the Bridge of Remembrance also feature. Participants can choose between a range of race options, including the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km and Kids Marafun runs.

First held in 1978 and inspired by the 1974 Commonwealth Games, the Christchurch Marathon was the first New Zealand marathon to combine a half and full marathon and the first New Zealand marathon to welcome recreational runners alongside official club runners.

“The Christchurch Marathon has always been an inclusive event. Whether you’re hoping for a win or are simply looking forward to getting out on the course and enjoying the atmosphere and the great Christchurch crowd, the Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon offers something for everyone.”

For those elite athletes, there are some major titles up for grabs with the Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon also featuring Athletic NZ’s New Zealand Half Marathon Championships.

Aiming for a podium finish in the Half Marathon is local runner Katherine Camp. Katherine won the Frontrunner Christchurch Half Marathon in 2021 and came third in 2023. She’s also represented New Zealand at the World Half Marathon Championships and is a six-time National Champion across 800m,1500m and 10km distances.

Camp says the National Half Marathon title is next on her bucket list.

“I’m feeling pretty confident for a strong result. I’ve just come back from the World Cross Country Championships in Serbia a few weeks ago so that’s definitely helped the endurance side of my racing. I know I’m a better road runner, so I’m looking forward to hitting the streets of Christchurch as it’s where I feel most comfortable.”

Camp says the 10km loop course provides great motivation.

“I love the course here in Christchurch as there’s so many different options for people to support the runners. If you run alone for too long you can get too much in your own head, but last year at the Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon there were supporters popping up on every corner which was amazing.”

Cox says preparations are well underway for Sunday’s event – 4,300 bananas have been sourced to help tired runners recover, along with more than 2,500 litres of PURE sports nutrition electrolyte.

“It’s been a marathon few weeks leading up to this point. The team really have been pulling out all the stops to make this event one to remember. We’ve been lucky to have more than 300 volunteers sign up too, to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day.”

Cox says it’s been great to have so many people sign up for the event – the youngest participant is just five years old. The oldest is 83.

“It’s a family-friendly event for all ages and stages. It’s great to see so many people out there giving it a go. You can take it seriously or have fun with it – we encourage everyone to run their style.”

This year the Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon announced its first ever official charity partner - Bone Marrow Cancer Trust, which runs Ranui House in Christchurch. Already the “Run for Ranui House” Fundraiser has raised close to $40,000 for Ranui House, a 26-apartment complex that provides a home away from home for patients and their families who travel to Christchurch hospitals for life-saving medical treatment.

“The outpouring of love and support for our cause has been incredible, it will make a huge difference to families in need. We can't thank our runners and the team at Frontrunner Christchurch Marathon enough for making it all happen and we’ll be cheering you on as you run past Ranui House while out on the course,” Bone Marrow Cancer Trust CEO Mandy Kennedy says.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.