Marathon response delights organisers

Close to 10,000 runners will descend on Queenstown this weekend.

That number could grow too, as Queenstown Marathon registrations remain open today.

A significant number of runners coming from a large range of backgrounds will contest the race, in its seventh year.

There four distances — a full marathon, half-marathon, 10km and children’s race.

The half-marathon has proved the most popular, bringing in 5187 runners, while 1658 runners will contest the full marathon.

Two-thirds of entries have come from outside the Otago-Southland area and 61% are female.

Indeed, 28% of runners are from Canterbury, while 19% have made the trip from Auckland.

The oldest runner is 89-year-old Clasina van der Veeken, of Whangarei.

There will also be 600 volunteers and close to $40,000 will be given to the Queenstown Trails Trust charity.

It is expected just under $10 million will be injected into the economy.

Race director Nicole Fairweather was delighted with the response and what it would do for the town.

‘‘In what has been a tremendously challenging year for the region and in particular the event, hospitality, accommodation, and tourism industries I am thrilled that we will host 10,000 New Zealanders this weekend, with the local economy set to benefit from that influx of visitors.  

‘‘The strong numbers are a testament to the popularity of the race, its world class reputation as being one of the most scenic marathons on the planet but also the attraction of the wider region and all it has to offer visitors, many of whom make it an annual weekend away with friends or family.’’

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