Island trail run on hold

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Sue Crowley, of Rotorua was first to cross the line for the open women's race with a time of 3 hours and 9 minutes at last year's Rakiura Challenge Trail Run on Stewart Island.

STEWART Island’s popular trail run has been cancelled this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

However, the event organiser believed New Zealanders would still take the opportunity to visit the island.

Chris Cox said he and his team were “very disappointed” they had to cancel the event, but believed it was the “right call”.

“We’ve discussed this for some time now and we decided to cancel the event because a lot of things could change before October.

“If we tried to hold it anyway, it wouldn’t be the event we were planning.

“Also, to delay notice of cancellation would be irresponsible, imposing disruption, inconvenience and costs on stakeholders, supporters and, of course, our runners.”

It was the sensible approach because he also did not want to put islanders in a dangerous situation, he said.

“This is an event for people from all over the country.

“I don’t want to be the one responsible to bring Covid-19 to Stewart Island.”

After the launch of the event last year, the race had received great support. All 250 spots were filled in four days.

People who had entered could apply for a refund or transfer their entry to next year’s event, which was confirmed for October 2.

Even though the event was cancelled, he believed people would still visit the island during the first weekend of October.

“I was talking with people around the island and I’ve just heard about one or two [accommodation] cancellations for this weekend. I think they will come down anyway.”

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