Air New Zealand has partnered with event organisers Lagardère Unlimited Oceania to bring the country’s newest international marathon to Hawke’s Bay.
The inaugural Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay International Marathon will run on 14 May 2016, showcasing the spectacular wine-growing region to runners and supporters from throughout New Zealand and around the world.
Air New Zealand Chief Commercial and Sales Officer Cam Wallace says the sponsorship agreement with event organisers Lagardère covers events in both Hawke’s Bay and Queenstown in 2016 and 2017.
Mr Wallace says last year’s inaugural marathon in Queenstown was a huge success, attracting close to 6,000 runners, with 90 percent of them from outside the Queenstown region.
“We have been in discussions with Lagardère for some time about bringing another international marathon to New Zealand to complement the Queenstown event and expect the Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay International Marathon to attract significant interest from domestic and international runners to the benefit of the local economy,” Mr Wallace says.
“We are also already actively working on further opportunities to extend our partnership elsewhere in the country to help drive local tourism.”
Lagardère Unlimited Oceania Chief Executive Officer Dave Beeche welcomes the extended partnership with the airline, saying the support provided will help to grow and secure the future of the marathon events.
“Our partnership with Air New Zealand has been very successful with last year’s event in Queenstown far exceeding our first race expectations.
“The Hawke’s Bay region offers a beautiful setting for the marathon course with bike trails, wineries, orchards and olive groves, presenting a course that will be as pleasing on the eye as it will be easy on the feet for those taking part. Participants can cross the finish line and then sit back and enjoy the food, wine and local hospitality on offer. What better reason for a weekend away with friends in stunning Hawke’s Bay, either as a runner or a supporter.
“Like Queenstown, this will be positioned as a premium event experience at a fun weekend destination, where it’s as much about achieving your running goal, as having a great weekend away with friends or family in a stunning location.”
Both the Hawke’s Bay and Queenstown marathon events will also include 21km and 10km races and a 3km kids’ race. This year’s Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon, set between the backdrop of the Crown and Remarkable Mountain Ranges, will be held on Saturday 21 November 2015.