And it could be said that there is even a marathon in New Zealand that spans the full history of the 42.195 km marathon. Indeed, was it not here at the Ascot Park Hotel Southland Marathon that the now legendary distance was run for just the second time (in 1909, shortly after the distance started to become standard at the 1908 London Olympics)? Speaking of bridges, there are sure to be lots of river crossings, but not a lot of bridges at the spectacular Motatapu Icebreaker Off Road Marathon that takes participants along a historical Maori route that is only open to the public on race day.
It only makes sense that a country with such a coastline (in terms of sheer length, and, above all, beauty) would feature a few coastal runs, and would you be surprised to learn that the one run along 90 Mile Beach is considered one of New Zealand’s most challenging? That is, in any case, what organizers and participants have to say about the Te Houtaewa Challenge Marathon up in the Far north.
Another run – but one where you won’t get sand in your shoes, is the Buller Gorge Marathon in Westport that lays claim to the title of “most scenic athletic event” in New Zealand!
New Zealand certainly has a wealth of scenic wilderness marathons, but of course it also features a few city marathons, as well:
The capital city, Wellington, hosts the Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon.
The streets of Christchurch are the site of an annual marathon in June, which also bills itself as one of the world’s fastest (and most scenic and supportive, as well) : the Marathon.
The country’s largest city, Auckland, is the place to be in November when the ASB Auckland Marathon rolls into town.
So depending where you’re based, it may take you some time to get to New Zealand, but there are plenty of running opportunities that will make it well worth the trip!