Rakiura Challenge canned

About 1km into the Rakiura Challenge is Lee Bay, where the highest point on the island. Photo: Laura Smith

STEWART Island’s popular trail run has been cancelled again this year because of uncertainties around Covid-19.

Rakiura Challenge organiser Chris Cox said the decision to cancel was “disappointing and difficult”. The event had been scheduled for October 2.

“The uncertainty we are now faced with may ultimately have resulted in a later-notice announcement cancelling the event… This could have created logistical problems for runners, supporters and others travelling to Stewart Island and having to reschedule travel and other arrangements.”

After speaking to community representatives and stakeholders, organisers decided cancelling was the responsible thing to do, he said.

About 250 people had registered for this year’s run 56 were set to come from Auckland and 48 from other parts of the North Island.

Cox understood people might be disappointed, but organisers had to consider the real risk of people from those regions getting stuck in Southland or on Stewart Island if there was a change in alert level during the week of the event.

“This is an event for people from all over the country and with Covid, we learnt that everything can change very quickly.”

People who had entered could apply for a refund or transfer their entry to next year’s event, which had been set down for October 1.