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The university clocktower race will be held on the stroke of noon as part of Orientation Week festivities.
Entrants complete one lap — about 370m — around the University of Otago’s clocktower.
Prizes are on offer for runners who can beat the chimes — 53.5 seconds — while there is a $100 cash prize and trophy for the men’s and women’s winners.
Race organiser Jared Monk said entries had been better than expected, having been helped by additional advertising this year.
The race began in 1990 and was inspired by the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
However, it had gone into a hiatus in 2011 and was resurrected by Monk in 2019.
Since its reintroduction, six runners had beaten the chimes.
Shay Veitch, who has since established himself as one of the country’s top sprinters, won last year’s title in a time of 51.2sec.