The Christchurch Airport Marathon is poised to return to the record entry numbers it was enjoying prior to the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
Scheduled for Sunday 2nd June, entries for the 2013 Christchurch Airport Marathon are close to the record numbers of 2009 and 2010, when more than 5000 runners and walkers lined up for the annual Queen’s Birthday Weekend event.
Earlier this week, with two months until race day, entries were 60 percent higher than this time last year. “Based on past years that indicates race day will be at least 5000,” says race director Chris Cox.
Cox and his organisational group are over the moon with the interest in the 2013 event.
“It’s really encouraging,” he says. “In 2010 we had a record entry of 5800 participants. But the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011 forced the event out of the city and cut entries almost in half.
“But we managed to keep it alive, then Christchurch Airport came on board as the principal sponsor and now the city itself continues to slowly recover along with the marathon.
“Right now entries are only 15 percent behind where we were in April 2010, so we’re almost back to the pre-quake participation.”
Cox says Christchurch Airport has been a big part of the event’s fast recovery. “The airport team gave the event a new base and course and added some promotional muscle, which is what we needed to get past that difficult time. But honestly, I think it’s the community that kept the race alive.
“Our only real goal through the years was that the event should reflect the community,” says Cox. So when the city and our event hit tough times following the quakes, everyone pulled together - from sponsors to volunteers to participants to the Christchurch City Council, the community helped us through it.”
Indeed, the Christchurch Airport Marathon has always been a reflection of the wider community. With options including the Full Marathon run, Half Marathon run and walk, the 10k run and walk and the Kids’ 3k Mara’Fun, this is a festival of fitness with something for everyone.
“It’s about providing a goal and a challenge for people of all age and ability and aspiration,” says Cox.
“We challenge everyone from individuals to schools, businesses and community groups to be a part of a great occasion. Businesses like The Press newspaper are entering a team of 26 staff and there are several schools training for it as part of their NCEA exercise science studies.”
Continuing with the community theme, this year’s Christchurch Airport Marathon will benefit Ronald McDonald House South Island. Participants are encouraged to sign up to run and raise funds for the family support charity.
Entries for the 2013 Christchurch Airport Marathon Event are still open. Race day is Sunday 2nd June. For details visit: www.christchurchmarathon.co.nz.