First Rakiura trail run challenge full

SHARE
Stewart Island.

STEWART Island/Rakiura will host its first trail run challenge in October.

Still months away, the competition is already fully subscribed.

A 37.7km race, The Rakiura Challenge, will be held in the Rakiura National Park on October 5.

Race director Chris Cox said the response for the event had been overwhelming.

“We opened the registrations for 250 competitors until August, but in the first day, by the lunch time, we were already fully booked with a waiting list of 80 people.”

Mr Cox said the idea came as an idea to bring more visitors to the island.

“The event is taking place at – what we call – the shoulder season, which is still bit quiet.

“Almost all the participants, about 99%, are tourists.

“A lot of people are using this as an excuse to visit Stewart Island.”

The benefit of the track, in his opinion, was that it would be not affected by the weather.

“Usually we need to worry [about the weather], but as it is in the bush, we do not believe the weather will be any problem. It is one of the great walks and a good track.

“People could expect a mud section, but this is part of the island.”

He said air and ferry companies would add extra services throughout the weekend and accommodation should be booked in advance.

Due to the success of the bookings, he believed it could be an annual event.

The Department Of Conservation had granted a concession for 250 people, but Mr Cox hoped to increase the number for next year.

“It would be good to potentially have 300 to 350 people. We will analyse the impact of this year and see how things work out.”

Advertisement