Higher aims motivate Queenstown marathon runner

Glenn Marvin. Photo supplied.
Glenn Marvin. Photo supplied.
The Queenstown man aiming to raise both funds for a Nepalese orphanage and the Wakatipu profile in Auckland while preparing to compete in the world's most demanding marathon says he is ecstatic the first tourism operator has answered his appeal for help after the Queenstown Times told his story last Wednesday.

Queenstown-raised Glenn Marvin, now working in Auckland, is training hard and entering marathons in New Zealand and Australia ahead of competing in the gruelling 42km high-altitude Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon on May 29.

Inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary, the 35-year-old company general manager is looking to generate $20,000 to keep the Orphan Help Centre in Kathmandu operational for another year and provide running shoes for Nepalese long-distance runners aspiring to compete internationally.

Mr Marvin is organising a charity gala at the College Rifles Sports Complex, in Remuera, on September 13 for about 300 guests.

He said it was an opportunity for Southern Lakes tourism operators to promote themselves to Auckland's moneyed set, while contributing to a worthy cause by donating accommodation or activity packages as auction prizes.

The Hermitage Hotel contacted Glenn Marvin to contribute to his charity drive the day his story was published.

The luxury accommodation provider has donated two prize packages.

One prize is a gift certificate for one night's accommodation with dinner and breakfast in the Alpine Restaurant for two people and entry to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.

Second prize is two passes on the Glacier Explorers boat trip.

"Glenn's cause is very dear to our hearts as we're involved in Sir Edmund's Himalayan Trust, the new Sir Edmund Hillary Centre is located at Mount Cook and we've had a strong Nepalese community at Mount Cook over the years," Hermitage spokeswoman Jenny Andrews said.

Mr Marvin said the Hermitage Hotel "have been fantastic supporters of causes I've raised funds for in the past, like the Temuka Community Centre.

I challenge other hotels, activity providers and organisations to show their community spirit and willingness to promote Queenstown to people with deep pockets at the gala.

"If their business is worth promoting, we're happy to provide a vehicle."

Mr Marvin said Aucklanders still viewed Queenstown as a ski resort and not a year-round destination.

Wakatipu operators donating eye-catching packages for fundraising auction would go some way to change the perception, he said.

Supporting businesses and organisations will be linked from his blog, which he has created to track his progress towards the marathon.