Thank you for supporting the Marathon

Top marks to the event organisers as well as the competitors who made this year's Christchurch Airport Marathon a huge success.

Almost 5,000 people ran and walked the various parts of the event, through the central city, in perfect conditions, from a chilly start to a sunny finish.

Elite marathoners publicly said there couldn't have been better marathon weather, while competitors in all sections paid tribute to the way the event was managed this year, with thousands of traffic cones, traffic marshalls and other volunteers playing their part in a memorable event.

The slightly altered central city event seemed to draw more supporters out to line the streets, with lots of cheering, clapping and vocal support appreciated by those doing the hard yards.

Dougal Thorburn and Liza Hunter-Galvan, the marathon winners, both commented on the support around the course this year being more than they recall in the past and acknowledged what a difference it made to them.

The prize-giving event was, as always, well attended, not only by those who knew they would be on the podium, but also by those hoping their event tag would be drawn out to win the annual travel prize. This year the prize was entry into the Paris Marathon, with travel sponsored by China Southern Airlines, our newest airline partner.

So congratulations Christchurch, you've hosted another successful marathon event, with local, national and international competitors admitting they're attracted to this event because of you.

This has been our final year as naming rights sponsor of the marathon event. We came on board for five years, to support the city and the event. We knew what an extravaganza this city had hosted over Queen's Birthday Weekend for more than three decades and felt we could assist after the earthquakes. As well as sponsorship, we offered fast, flat and unbroken roads on our own campus for a couple of years to offer continuity and safety for the event.

It has been an honour and a privilege to be associated with the marathon event and though we will have a lesser role in future, we will always be proud of, and follow with interest, the Christchurch Marathon.