Marathon entries pleasing

Organisers of the inaugural Queenstown International Marathon are thrilled with the response to the event, which has received more than 150 entries in the first few weeks they have been open.

Event manager Anna Hiatt, of Wanaka, said there had been ''fantastic pick-up'' locally, domestically and internationally - particularly from Australians.

The marathon is on November 22 and there will also be a half-marathon, 10km run and children's and family 3km event.

Sixty percent of the course would be on hard-packed trails - primarily sections of the Queenstown Trail - and the rest on road.

The marathon begins at Millbrook Resort, wind its way through Arrowtown, and along the Millennium Trail and the Queenstown Trail by the Arrow River.

The course continues via Hogans Gully Rd and part of the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd, around Lake Hayes and to the Shotover Bridge, via Speargrass Flat Rd and Lower Shotover Rd.

From there the route links back on to the Queenstown Trail and the Frankton Track, following State Highway 6 towards Queenstown, around the Queenstown Gardens and finishes at the Queenstown Recreational Ground.

The half-marathon course starts at Speargrass Flat Rd, following the same course and the 10km event starts at Davies Park, near the Queenstown Events Centre.

The event is being run by Upsolut Sports Oceania Ltd, which also organises the ITU World Triathlon Championships and is working on the Under-20 Fifa World Cup.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has provided $80,000 from its events strategy budget to support the event.

Part of the full and half-marathon entry fee will go to the Queenstown Trails Trust.

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