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Iconic multisport event Macpac Motatapu in Queenstown continues to evolve, with changes to the long standing Motatapu Triathlon course and the addition of a brand-new trail run event in 2018, with online entries going live this week.

A new 8.5km running trail will be introduced to the event in 2018, as both a standalone trail run but also as a slightly shorter but equally challenging run leg for the Motatapu Triathlon, replacing the 15km Miners Trail.

The new run option will use the Sawpit Gully loop track in Arrowtown and is open to runners 14 years of age and above, with running and walking categories. The course will be fully supported as with all Macpac Motatapu events, with marshals and medical support throughout the course.

Race Director Danielle Sherman says organisers are constantly looking to update and improve the race, and believes this will be a popular option next March.

“Macpac Motatapu is an iconic event with such great history, but we cannot afford to rest on those laurels and take our participants for granted. To succeed and grow, you have to keep what is working and innovate to bring freshness and a new challenge.

“Some of the feedback suggested demand for a trail option accessible to beginner runners or walkers while still challenging those who are looking to compete as quickly as they can. The Sawpit does that, both as a standalone event, but also as the run leg in the triathlon, making both much more achievable to a wider participant base, but still presenting a tough challenge for all who take it on.”

The course is also very user friendly, with the start and finish at Wilcox Green in Arrowtown, taking participants on an 8.5km loop up to an elevation of 670m at Eichart’s Flat. The first part of the course is an easy meander along the Arrow River trail and Bush Creek track, allowing participants to find their own pace and settle into the trail.

After an ascent made up of a series of switchbacks on wide tracks, the course opens to spectacular view of the Remarkables and Lake Hayes, before participants reach the high point of the course at the intersection with Big Hill Track.

Competitors then head down the gully into the most technical part of the track, one that will test the faster competitors, and encourage the less experienced to take their time through the rocky sections and drop offs.

The descent of Sawpit Gully is followed by a return alongside the Arrow River again, where competitors will find a second wind to fly home to Wilcox Green, or enjoy the scenery with friends and fellow runners and walkers on a wide and well-maintained track to a warm welcome at the finish line, where the legendary Motatapu hospitality awaits before prize giving.

Sherman says the new course will see less congestion too as triathletes catch up to the back markers on the trail.

“Our timings and projections have the lead triathletes passing only the final few walkers doing the 8.5km Sawpit Trail, and even that will likely be on the final wide and flat section of the course on the Arrow River Trail. This will be of benefit to all participants, as less congestion leads to a more enjoyable event done at your own pace.”

Entries for the Sawpit Trail Run went live today (Thursday 31 August), with early bird pricing of $49 as a special launch offer.

Organisers will be hosting free information evenings for the 2018 Macpac Motatapu event, at various venues around the country in October and November. Dates and venues will be published on the event website and social media in the weeks ahead.

Macpac Motatapu

Sawpit Trail (solo event and also forms the run leg in the Motatapu Triathlon)
Saturday March 10, 2018
ENTRY FEE: Early $49 incl GST (special one-off launch rate) Standard $70 incl GST Late $85 Incl GST   *Additional 8% Active Fee applied on checkout
DISTANCE:  8.5km
START TIME: 9:00am – 9:10am (two minute waves)
START LINE: Wilcox Green, Arrowtown
FINISH LINE: Wilcox Green, Arrowtown
REGISTRATION: Friday 9 March, 4:00pm – 7:30pm, Wilcox Green, Arrowtown Saturday 10 March, 6:45am – 7:45am, Wilcox Green, Arrowtown.
TRANSPORT TO THE START LINE: Car park and drop-off available near the start line.
MINIMUM AGE: Must be 14 years of age on race day to compete
Run: 14-15yrs, 16-39 yrs, 40-49 yrs, 50-59 yrs, 60+ yrs
Walk: 14+ yrs
PRIZES: 1st, 2nd, 3rd for all categories

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