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The November 2022 marathon will also be held as planned, meaning there will be two events that year.
Queenstown Marathon Race Director Keegan McCauley said organisers knew the news the marathon scheduled for November 20 had been postponed until March 19 next year would be "frustrating and disappointing".
“In what has been another challenging few months for the region, finding a postponement date for the Queenstown Marathon was a priority for both the local community and our runners,” he said.
Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult was disappointed the event could not be held this year as it was "significant" for Queenstown.
"The South Island had not had a case of Covid-19 for a long time, and the Government needed to provide more certainty around when people from Auckland would be able to travel to the resort," he said.
The decision to postpone came after the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's press conference this morning where she laid out the next steps for New Zealand’s Covid-19 response.
For the marathon to have gone ahead under the Covid-19 Protection Framework, the South Island would need be in the "orange" setting — where gathering limits would lift and people could attend sports events as long as they had a vaccine certificate.
This could not happen until each DHB in the country reached full vaccination rates of 90%.
The Prime Minister said government would consider an earlier move for the South Island if DHBs reached 90% full vaccination before the rest of the country, but this would not happen until November 29.
Mr McCauley said the government’s announcement was unable to give the certainty needed for the event to go ahead on November 20 this year, as planned.
"While the country will be moving to the new Covid-19 protection framework, the timeline outlined in today’s Government announcement means that our only option is to postpone the 2021 event."
All registered participants for the 2021 Queenstown Marathon will be contacted by event organisers regarding their entry and entries remain open for the rescheduled event.