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Aoraki Mt Cook to be Backdrop for Inaugural Marathon

March 3, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Runners from around the world will descend on New Zealand’s South Island in April for the inaugural Aoraki Mt Cook Marathon.

Taking place on Sunday 13th April at the foot of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park – quite possibly one of the world’s most scenic road marathons – the event will offer challenges for all abilities and will include a marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km run.

The Aoraki Mt Cook National Park is in the South Island of New Zealand near the towns of Twizel and the stunning Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo. Standing 3,753 metres above sea level, Aoraki Mt Cook is New Zealand’s highest mountain. 571085

The National Park covers a little over 700km² with glaciers covering 40% of the park area, notably the Tasman Glacier on the slopes of Aoraki Mt Cook.

All the events in the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park encompass breathtaking scenery. Runners and walkers will follow the main Mt Cook Road that meanders its way amongst awe-inspiring lake, mountain and glacial landscapes.

The Marathon will start at Peter’s Lookout, while the Half Marathon will commence from Glentanner Park and the 10km and 5km events will both start and finish at the Hermitage Hotel in the Aoraki Mt Cook Village.

Logistics have been made easy for this event with a pre-race buffet and entertainment organised on the eve of the event at the Hermitage Hotel on Saturday 12th April and coaches taking runners from Aoraki/Mt Cook Village to the start line on race day.

Runners are being encouraged to make the most of their visit to Aoraki Mt Cook and take some time to really enjoy all that the Aoraki/Mt Cook Mackenzie region has to offer.

At Aoraki/Mt Cook Village visitors can enjoy some world-class hiking and climbing, the practice ground for Sir Edmund Hillary before he successfully scaled Mount Everest. Visitors should also visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at The Hermitage.

At Lake Tekapo skies are almost totally free from artificial light pollution making the region one of the best stargazing sites on earth and in 2012, more than 2,575 square kilometres of Aoraki Mackenzie night sky was recognised as the world’s largest, gold status International Dark Sky Reserve. The Earth & Sky tours run stargazing tours at Mount John Observatory.

During the day, Mount John provides stunning panoramic views of the Mackenzie region. Visitors can drive or make the three hour hike to the summit and enjoy a coffee and sensational views at the Astro Café.

Pampering is also available at Tekapo Springs, where tired legs can be soothed in the hot pools set against a stunning mountainous backdrop.

All information for the Aoraki Mt Cook Marathon can be found at www.activeqt.co.nz.

For more information about what to see and do in Christchurch go to: www.christchurchnz.com

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