Mo­tat­apu events big­ger than ever

More over­seas com­peti­tors are en­ter­ing the popular off-road races

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

The Mo­tat­apu moun­tain­bike race and as­so­ci­ated mul­ti­sport events have drawn a field of 4567 com­peti­tors – the largest in the event’s his­tory.

Satur­day’s race starts at Glendhu Bay, Wanaka and fin­ishes at Wil­cox Green in Ar­row­town, with rid­ers, run­ners and hik­ers pass­ing through Mo­tat­apu, Soho and Glen­coe sta­tions.

Some of the ter­rain is usu­ally not open to the public.

The event is owned by the Queen­stown Trails Trust and is be­ing or­gan­ised by La­garde`re Un­lim­ited Ocea­nia. Funds go back into Wakatipu trail main­te­nance and devel­op­ment.

La­garde`re chief ex­ec­u­tive Dave Beeche says the big­gest in­crease in com­peti­tors is from over­seas (74 per cent growth) and Auck­land (35 per cent growth), fol­low­ing a re­jig of start times and a re­vamped mar­ket­ing strat­egy.

Beeche de­scribed the Mo­tat­apu as ‘‘a must-do race for many’’, while cre­at­ing high eco­nomic benefits for Wanaka, Ar­row­town and Queen­stown.

The av­er­age length of stay per com­peti­tor is 3.3 days, Beeche said.

Queen­stown Trails Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Mandy Kennedy said it was ‘‘in­cred­i­ble’’ to see how far the event had come in 11 years.

‘‘Around 1300 com­peti­tors en­tered the first Mo­tat­apu back in 2005 across the marathon and moun­tain bike events only. To see such growth in both the amount of events and num­ber of ath­letes is a great achieve­ment,’’ Kennedy said.

Com­peti­tors range in age from 11 years old (An­gus Wil­liamson of Auck­land, 15km Min­ers Trail) to 82 (John Fal­coner of Gore, of­froad marathon).

A new tro­phy for the old­est fin­isher has been cre­ated this year in mem­ory of regular Ar­row­town par­tic­i­pant Max McDer­mid, who passed away late last year.

Spec­ta­tors should note the fin­ish line has been moved this year to Wil­cox Green, still in Ar­row­town, to en­able more space.

The usual car­ni­val at­mos­phere will wel­come com­peti­tors over the line with mu­sic, live footage, food and drink.

The 2014 Mo­tat­apu was the 10th an­niver­sary of the event.

Photo: FAIR­FAX NZ

What: The Mo­tat­apu – five mul­ti­sport events 51km Adventure Run 41 solo en­tries; 25 teams of two. XTERRA Triathlon 44 teams (125 com­peti­tors); 116 in­di­vid­u­als

47km Moun­tain Bike 2843 bik­ers

Off-Road Marathon 721 run­ners

15km Min­ers Trail 671 run­ners When: Satur­day March 7 (re­serve day Sun­day, March 8)

More in­for­ma­tion mo­tat­apu.com

Find your space: The 2011 Mo­tat­apu moun­tain­bike race gets un­der way at Glendhu Bay, Wanaka.

Photo: JIM POL­LARD

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