Runners to take on alpine trail
‘‘A big attraction for both spectators and competitors is the wonderful views across the iconic landscape.’’
Organisers of the third annual Welcome Rock Trails Race on Sunday November 26 are delighted with interest in the event.
Owner-operator Tom O’Brien said more than 100 people, including regulars and new people entering, had registered to date.
‘‘The limit is 150, so this is looking pretty good and up on other years at this stage.’’
The 27km running race covers a subalpine loop track, with entry to the course via the Nevis Rd at Garston.
‘‘So far the entrant who is travelling the furthest is a guy from Scotland who just happens to be visiting New Zealand at the right time to be able to compete.
‘‘Then he will stay on to help on the farm for a few months and maybe do some trail maintenance.’’
The old Southland Ski hut near the summit of the Nevis Rd, on the Garston side, is the meeting place for entrants to confirm registration and carry out a safety check before the race starts at 11am.
Spectators are welcome to support the runners and cheer them on.
‘‘Most competitors have been doing quite a bit of training, and they use it as another test of their fitness before the Kepler event,’’ O’Brien said.
‘‘There are a couple of elite runners who will be striving to lead the field.
‘‘But the majority will just be trying for their personal best and a sense of achievement.
‘‘It seems we have the whole community involved as supporters and volunteers raising money for various good causes, which benefits the community.
‘‘We hold one running and one mountain biking event annually, but the course is open at any time for people to use by booking in and there are four different private accommodation options to meet different needs,’’ he said.
‘‘A big attraction for both spectators and competitors is the wonderful views across the iconic landscape, alongside its outstanding amenity values, unique history and the ecology of the area, whether they are running, hiking, biking or 4-wheel driving.’’ ❚ Entries for the Welcome Rock Trail race can be made at www.welcomerock.co.nz. Or email Katie: firstname.lastname@example.org, or ph 027 2392628.