• Action-packed athletics winter schedule locked in

Action-packed athletics winter schedule locked in

Summer may be drawing to a close but there is plenty of athletics action to look forward to over the winter months with the domestic focus set to turn to cross country, road, mountain and trail events all over the country.

The rescheduled Jennian Homes New Zealand Track and Field Championships is the last major senior meet of an enthralling summer season that has brought many outstanding performances as our top athletes including Valerie Adams (pictured above, photo John Faulkner) have built towards the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

This will be followed by the Interprovincial Championships for 12 and 13-year-olds over Easter weekend and the North Island and South Island Secondary School Championships a week later, all of which will be a real highlight for the hundreds of intermediate and high-school-aged athletes participating.

Much attention will then be drawn towards Tokyo during July and August but athletics fans will also have plenty to entertain them in their own backyard over the coming months with a range of national championship events pencilled in.

First up in April is the New Zealand Senior Marathon Championships, held in the Garden City as part of the Christchurch Marathon.

The action then stays in the beautiful South Island for the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, which are set to be held in a stunning setting as part of the inaugural Queenstown Alpine Grind.

The iconic Rotorua Marathon, which includes the New Zealand Masters Marathon Championships, then takes place in early May before the New Zealand 100km Championships are staged in Christchurch later that month.

The New Zealand Cross Country Championships then return to Dunedin in August while September brings the New Zealand Road Race Championships to Hamilton. Nearby Cambridge plays host to the New Zealand Half Marathon Championships a fortnight later.

In October, Canterbury assumes hosting duties for a pair of popular events in the New Zealand Road Relay Championships and New Zealand Trail Running Championships, which are held as part of the Takahe to Akaroa Relay and Crater Rim Ultra respectively.

An action-packed winter then wraps up in Auckland with the New Zealand 24-Hour Championships in mid-November.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer such a wide range of events over the winter, many of which showcase the stunning landscapes we’re fortunate to have in this country,” says John Bowden, Out-of-Stadia Coordinator for Athletics NZ.

“We hope many of our members will take advantage of the opportunity to run these beautiful courses and we’re looking forward to seeing a series of outstanding performances as some of our finest athletes take to the spectacular roads, mountains and trails of New Zealand.”

Athletics NZ Winter Championships

New Zealand Senior Marathon Championships (Senior men and women only)
(held as part of the Christchurch Marathon)
Sunday 11 April

New Zealand Mountain Running Championships
(part of the Queenstown Alpine Grind)
Saturday 17 April
Coronet Peak Ski Resort, Queenstown

New Zealand Masters Marathon Championships
(part of the Rotorua Marathon)
Saturday 8 May

New Zealand 100km Championships
(part of the Sri Chinmoy 100km, 50km Race and 100km Teams Race)
Sunday 23 May

New Zealand Cross Country Championships
Saturday 7 August
Chisholm Links, Dunedin

New Zealand Road Race Championships
Sunday 5 September
Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton

New Zealand Half Marathon Championships
(part of the Cambridge Half Marathon)
Sunday 19 September

New Zealand Road Relay Championships
(part of the Takahe to Akaroa Relay)
Saturday 2 October

New Zealand Trail Running Championships
(part of the Crater Rim Ultra)
Sunday 17 October
Port Hills, Christchurch

New Zealand 24-Hour Championships
(part of the Sri Chinmoy 6-, 12-, 24-Hour Track Races and 24-Hour Teams Relay)
Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 November
AUT Millennium, Auckland