Dunedin Marathon organising committee chairwoman Maria Sleeman said early bird entries were open for this year’s marathon event, planned for Sunday, September 10, with more than 200 entries already received.
"It’s great to see that level of interest coming through already — we are looking forward to another good event," Ms Sleeman said.
Last year’s Emerson’s Dunedin Marathon event attracted close to 2000 competitors, across the full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km runs, as well as the walking events, and people had been positive about the changes to the route of the event.
"People generally enjoyed the course, including running and walking along Portsmouth Drive and down the Otago Peninsula — even though it was a windy day."
The route for the 2023 Emerson’s Dunedin Marathon would remain mostly the same, with a couple of "tweaks" to improve the experience.
This would include shifting the finish line to the roadway ramp next to Emerson’s Brewery, giving spectators a better vantage from which to cheer competitors home, and allowing an easy progression from the finish line into the car park after the race.
"We think that will tidy that area up a bit, and make the finish really fun for competitors and spectators."
Ms Sleeman said working with Emerson’s Brewery on last year’s event had been "fantastic", and it was exciting to have them returning as naming rights sponsor again this year.
"Emerson’s are a great sponsor, they have really worked alongside us on the marathon event, and their expertise in hospitality has been invaluable."
The large scale of the marathon event had made it challenging for the Caversham Harrier & Athletic Club to manage everything with volunteers, so the committee had made the move to employ Becs Adlam as race director, with responsibility for sponsorship and marketing.
Marathon organising committee member Stu McCormack will work alongside Ms Adlam in the areas of marketing and sponsorship.
"We are also looking at applying for funding so we can pay a firm to help us out with marshalling in certain very busy spots on the course," Ms Sleeman said.
"The event has grown so big that we feel we need that extra support to help keep things flowing along."
Fulton Hogan would continue to take care of traffic management for the event, and was a highly valued sponsor of the event, she said.
Another new feature of this year’s marathon event is the introduction of a new online entry system, Race Roster, which allows participants to manage their own entries online, including changing the events they take part in or transferring their entry to another person.
"We hope this will make it easier for people to manage their entries without having to email back and forth with us," she said.
Ms Sleeman believed the efforts of the organisers to improve Emerson’s Dunedin Marathon event helped to keep it popular.
"People really enjoyed it last time, and with a couple of tweaks, it will be even better."
Early bird entries continue until April 30, followed by standard entries until August 13, and then late entries up to the day of the event.
For more information, go to dunedinmarathon.co.nz