You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
“The ASB Christchurch Marathon has always been Queen’s Birthday Weekend, but terrible weather in recent years has really impacted participation," said race director Chris Cox.
"The numbers just have not built back to those pre-earthquake levels, so we decided the event needed to be at a nicer time of the year. So 2021’s 40th anniversary will be on April 11th.”
In 2019 the event returned to its traditional race base at the Christchurch Town Hall.
But last year the marathon was interrupted by Covid-19.
“That was a big hit financially for the event,” said Cox.
“But it also gave us some time to consider the future.”
Since returning to the central city, Cox and his crew had been working with local authorities to reclaim the traditional course. It took some time, but now in 2021 it finally returns to the pre-earthquake race route.
“The course concept is very important,” says Cox.
“Parts of it still run on the historic 1974 Commonwealth Games route, which was the inspiration for this event. That route is widely accepted as the fastest in New Zealand, but it is also very scenic and takes in iconic Christchurch areas such as Hagley Park, the Avon River, Oxford Terrace and the Town Hall. So it has everything.”
The only thing the ASB Christchurch Marathon hasn’t had is good weather, he said.
"The past four years have all seen bitter wind and rain. But that too is about to change.
“With the traditional course but a new date, it really is a case of back to the future,” laughs Cox.
“Taking that further, we’re really pleased to have ASB returning for its fifth year as the naming sponsor, and to announce a new charity partner in Trees That Count.”
Trees That Count is a nationwide native tree planting initiative established by the Project Crimson Trust.
The 2021 ASB Christchurch Marathon will be on Sunday, April 11. Entries are open now at www.christchurchmarathon.co.nz