Over 750 runners and walkers hit the off-road tracks in Kinloch on Saturday September 1st 2012 for the Marathon, Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon events at the Mizuno Kinloch Offroad Challenge.
Every year Kinloch puts on a great day for participants of the Mizuno Kinloch Challenge and this year was no different. Once the frost and fog lifted, the weather was stunning, allowing runners and walkers to take in some spectacular views along the Western Bays of Lake Taupo.
Event Manager Wayne Reardon said nearly 50 runners and 2 walkers braved the very first full marathon in the Taupo region and feedback on the event has been really positive. "We were really excited to see what our marathon participants thought of the new event as we see it becoming very popular in the future. Everyone has raved about the Great Lake Trail, built by Bike Taupo which makes up a section of the Governments NZ Biking Trails project. We feel very fortunate to be able to use the track for our new Marathon event."
Denise Martin from Taupo said the track was just amazing. "Can I put my legs in the lake first," she said as she was interviewed. "No seriously, the track is in stunning condition and coming back the views were incredible. All credit to those who built the track. This was my first ever marathon - when these things happen in your back yard you have to give them a go," she said.
Mr Reardon also made special reference to the number of loyal volunteers that come back and help year after year and also the event's committed sponsors, specifically Mizuno. "Mizuno has been a partner of ours for a number of years and they are great to work with and provide some excellent prizes for our runners and walkers. Our two events wouldn't happen without the ongoing support of our sponsors and volunteers."
The winner of the very first Mizuno Kinloch Offroad Challenge Marathon was Kristian Day from Napier in a time of 3 hrs 08 mins 43 secs. The first women home was Janet Pease-Watkin from Taupo with a time of 3 hrs 56 mins 02 secs.
In the half marathon Cameron Durno from Taupo was the first man in with a time of 1 hr 28 mins 28 secs and Emma Rough from Taupo was the first women in with a time of 1 hr 44 mins 05 secs - Emma was also the winner of the Taupo Half Marathon last month.
In the quarter marathon Auckland's Duncan Morrison was the first man in with a time of 41 mins, 22 secs and his sister Amber Morrison from Fielding was the first women in with a time of 49 mins, 29 secs.
Approximately 160 runners and walkers completed this year's 63.3 challenge - three Taupo halves in three months. This included the Saucony Half Marathon in July, the Mizuno On-road Half Marathon in August and today's Mizuno Off-road Half Marathon with those completing the three receiving a free 63.3 Challenge t-shirt. Local MP Louise Upston once again took on the 63.3 Challenge, completing all three events.
Funds raised from Mizuno Kinloch Offroad Challenge go back into the local community. A payment is made to Bike Taupo and the Kinloch Community Association to assist with maintaining the W2K and Whangamata Stream tracks and local volunteers that help deliver the event receive funding towards their community groups. Any profit goes towards youth sporting stars in the region achieve their sporting goals.
The date for next year's event has been booked in for the first Saturday in September - 7 September 2013.