Inaugural Meridian Hydro Half Marathon

Stunning views over Fiordland.  Photo Supplied
Stunning views over Fiordland. Photo Supplied
Waiau River at Rainbow Reach. Photo Supplied
Waiau River at Rainbow Reach. Photo Supplied
Trail runs along Waiau River. Photo Supplied
Trail runs along Waiau River. Photo Supplied

On August 24, Te Anau hosts the inaugural Meridian Hydro Half Marathon.

Organised by a small committee of volunteers from the Fiordland Trails Trust, it has already attracted huge interest from the South Island running community with registrations selling fast.

Stephen Hoskin, chair of the Fiordland Trails Trust, says "We have this fantastic trail that the trust volunteers have worked hard to build over the past 10 years with the support of Meridian Energy and other local businesses. With another section of trail recently opened, we can finally put on an event and promote this amazing asset we have.”

He adds "We rely on donations to maintain the trail. So we wanted a way to raise funds while showcasing this stunning area of Southland and Fiordland.”

The half marathon starts at Kepler Farm near Manapōuri. This was the area where the temporary township for the Manapōuri hydro power station was situated, and trees planted back then are still visible along with the road layouts.

Race operations manager Nigel Wilson described the route "After a short run through the farm and 300m along the road, the race heads onto the Lake2Lake trail. This follows the incredibly picturesque Waiau river upstream to Lake Te Anau, finishing just beyond the Marakura Yacht Club."

Event Organiser, Heather Sinclair, explained "The event will bring in an influx of athletes and domestic visitors to the town. This is great, especially holding the event at a time of year away from the bustle of summer tourists visiting Fiordland and on their way to Milford Sound. We wanted a time of year that worked for the local community and would also be a good introduction to the upcoming running season”

Fiordland - known for its wilderness and breathtaking scenery - is the stunning and spectacular backdrop for this inaugural half marathon. Running under the snow capped mountains, through beech forests and along the crystal clear Waiau River to finish up at the Lakefront town of Te Anau is set to become a firm favourite and regular fixture in the running calendar.

Prizegiving will be at 2.30pm at the Meridian Marquee, near the Marakura yacht club with finishers medals for Meridian Hydro Half Marathon included for all registrations 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize for male and female in Categories: Open 18-39 and Veterans 40+.

The half marathon online registration is $95 and closes 10 August 2019 - More details and online registration can be found on at www.event.fiordlandtrails.nz

 - Julie Walls

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