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.wel­com­e­ Or email Katie: trails@wel­com­e­, or ph 027 2392628.

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