Thousands Set to Run Away to This Weekend’s Hawke’s Bay Marathon
The New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Hawke’s Bay Marathon returns this weekend, with over 4,000 participants registered to take part on Saturday 26 August.
The Hawke’s Bay Marathon will see runners take on one of four distances – the NZ Sotheby’s International Realty Marathon, La Roche Posay Half Marathon, Havana Coffee 10km, or Kennedy Park Resort Kids Run.
Athletes taking part in the event will enjoy the best highlights of the region, with flat easy running through stunning cycle trails and quiet country roads, all finishing at the impressive Elephant Hill Estate & Winery where runners will celebrate their achievements with friends and family at the finish-line food and wine festival.
Now in its seventh year, the Hawke’s Bay Marathon has grown into a key event for the region, attracting participants from all over New Zealand and across the Tasman.
With over two thirds of athletes and their supporters travelling to Hawke’s Bay from outside the region in 2023, the event has a significant economic impact. Previous years have seen around $7 million pumped into the regional economy.
Keegan McCauley, Hawke’s Bay Marathon Race Director, said the event provides a great opportunity for runners to spend the weekend in this incredible region centred around being active.
“We are just days away from the return of the Hawke’s Bay Marathon and can’t wait to welcome thousands of athletes and their supporters to this beautiful part of the world,” said McCauley.
“The event has a fantastic mix of social runners and walkers who are out for a fun morning right up to those going for a PB on a flat and fast course,” he said. “Between the stunning scenery, wonderful atmosphere and the very best of local Hawke’s Bay food and wine, this is a truly festival experience with something for everyone to enjoy.”
While the Hawke’s Bay Marathon is an event that focuses on runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, it does attract some of New Zealand’s leading distance runners – and there could be some fast times set in both the marathon and half marathon races this weekend.
In the marathon, the women’s race will likely feature a head-to-head battle between Alice Mason, a former winner of marathon races in Auckland, Christchurch and Rotorua, and Olivia Witney, the 2021 Hawke’s Bay Marathon champion.
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Camille French will continue her return to racing after giving birth last year and will start as hot favourite for the women’s half marathon title. The former Auckland Half Marathon winner finished fifth in last month’s Gold Coast Half Marathon.
In the men’s half marathon race, Liam Dooley will be hoping to retain his crown after winning the 2022 Hawke’s Bay Half Marathon.
2023 Hawke’s Bay Marathon – By the Numbers
Heading into Saturday, the Hawke’s Bay Marathon team has put together some of the interesting numbers that make up this year’s event.
4 – Race options as part of the Hawke’s Bay Marathon – 42.2km, 21.1km, 10km, 2.2km
5 – Age of the youngest competitor taking part
5 – New athletes set to become four-time Runaway MVPs – someone who has completed every Runaway Marathon Series event (Hawke’s Bay, Queenstown, Noosa, Sydney)
22 – Founding Runners to return to the Hawke’s Bay Marathon – running every year since 2016
39 – Average age of participants
61 – Percentage of females taking part, with males making up 39%
67 – Percentage of participants travelling from outside of Hawke’s Bay
70 – Percentage of first timers to the event
93 – Age of the oldest competitors taking part (2)
500 – Number of volunteers
2016 – Inaugural year of the Hawke’s Bay Marathon
4000+ – Participants registered to take part in 2023
18000+ – Dollars donated to the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust by Hawke’s Bay Marathon athletes and the IRONMAN Foundation earlier this year