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
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
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
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