Saturday sees the hosting of the third Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay International Marathon, with the region set to be inundated with runners and their supporters from around the country and beyond, with over 4,000 competitors set to take to a variety of events ranging from the Kids Run, to the Cigna 10km, the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Half marathon and the Air New Zealand Marathon.
Runners and walkers will take in the best highlights of the region, with flat easy running through local cycle trails, vineyards, olive groves, quiet country roads - all finishing at the impressive Sileni Estates Winery where they can celebrate their efforts in style, with live music and some of the best food and wine from the region.
Those 4,000 plus competitors will bring with them many more people in the shape of family, friends and supporters, all staying in the Hawke’s Bay region and contributing to the local economy for the duration of their stay.
Race Director Adam McDonald says the response has again been fantastic, and he looks forward to putting on a great day in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay.
“With late entries still open until 9pm on Friday, we are delighted to again be well over the 4,000 mark as far as total entries go. The attraction to the Hawke’s Bay region is a strong one, with so many of our entrants staying to sample some of the wonderful food and wine or to soak up the art deco capital of New Zealand and all it has to offer visitors.
“With the support of our sponsors and regional partners, I have no doubt that everyone will enjoy their day, with the finish line at Sileni Estates surely one of the most appealing anywhere in the world as everyone is able to toast their personal achievements in great surroundings.”
A new addition to the event this year is Medal Perks, an opportunity for competitors to further engage with the local business community on Sunday, with the Farmers Market and local businesses signing up with special offers available only on presentation of the event finisher medal.
McDonald says it’s a great way to further cement the links between visitors and the local community.
“Medal Perks has gone down really well with our athletes, they love the idea of being rewarded for the commitment to the event and the region by those who live and work in the region. Farmers Market on the Sunday is a great local event, thanks to many of the stall holders and our partners, there are some great offers available upon showing off your finishers medal. This is a great way to reward our athletes while at the same time encouraging a spend in the local economy, strengthening our ties with the local community.”
CLICK HERE for more info on Medal Perks.
Other initiatives for competitors on course, or visitors to the event and the Sports Expo (9am to 7pm, Friday 11 May, Napier Conference Centre) include:
• Lug-a-Luggage with Air NZ – check out those competitors that make it to the finish line with Air NZ luggage intact and see them open the luggage to reveal their prizes!
• Cigna Race Ready Bag for all taking part in the Cigna 10km event – collected at the Expo by showing your Cigna 10km race bib
• Sileni Estate Winery offering sampling, wine specials at the Expo
• Run Now, Wine + Juice Later – all entrants (18 and over) in the Cigna 10k, the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Half and the Air NZ Marathon receive their own wine glass in their race pack, thanks to those partners and Hawke’s Bay Tourism. Entrants are then invited to sample The Apple Press and Sileni Estates Wine at the finish line.
• ASICS merchandise available for purchase at the Expo
• Nature Valley Bars at the finish line – a great way to refuel!
• Family friendly activities and games in various chill out areas at the finish line at Sileni Estates.
• New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Half of the Half – supporters are welcomed to the party at the halfway mark of the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Half with live music entertainment and great viewing as competitors pass halfway!
The event is also a fundraiser for official charity partner, the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter. Runners have had the option of joining ‘Team Rescue Heli’ or to make a $5 or $10 donation at the time of signing up on the event website. The helicopter will be at the finish line party at Sileni Estates for children to see up close, sit in the pilot’s seat and get photos – subject only to possible call outs on the day.
Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay International Marathon – by the numbers
• Over 4,000 competitors (late entries close 9pm Friday 11 May)
• 66% female
• 34% male
• 420 amazing volunteers from the local community
• On top of their normal services, Air NZ has put on three extra return flights Auckland/Napier and Napier/Auckland to support the Marathon
• 13 food vendors satisfying everyone’s taste buds
• 76% of all entrants from outside the Hawke’s Bay region
• 261 international entrants (not counting family and supporters travelling too)
• 88 years old – the oldest of our competitors
• 5 years old – the youngest – various in the Kids Race
• 39 years – the average age
• 25,000 Air NZ lollies
• 5,350 litres of water
• 4,400 litres of Pure Nutrition Hydration
• 3,600 bananas
• 6.5km barrier tape
• 18,000 safety pins (give or take a couple…)
• 4,500 Asics race bags ready at registration