Snow forces cancellation of Routeburn Classic for first time

Poor weather has stopped the Routeburn Classic in its tracks for the first time in its 15-year history.

More than 300 people were set to take part in the adventure run on the Routeburn Track on Saturday, but heavy snow forced organisers to first postpone, and later cancel, the event.

Good Times Events director Evan McWhirter said he was gutted about the cancellation.

The last thing organisers wanted to do was cancel, but they could not send athletes into a dangerous situation, he said.

"It was the last thing we wanted to do, but it was the only thing we could do."

About 7km  of the track could not be used  because of the depth of the snow, he said.

That amount of snow was not expected by organisers.

"Yesterday we were expecting no more snow — it was supposed to be sunny; we were expecting snow melt," he said.

But about 30cm of snow had fallen on the Harris Saddle by the time organisers pulled the pin.

The Routeburn Classic  had been postponed once before, but never cancelled.

About 330 people were expected to take part in this year’s run. McWhirter said despite the cancellation, feedback had been "incredibly positive".

- Daisy Hudson

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