IRONMAN today announced that it has acquired New Zealand’s largest road race, the Auckland Marathon. The race, which dates back to 1936, attracted more than 16,000 participants last year. The 2014 Auckland Marathon will take place on November 2.
â€IRONMAN operates several events outside of the popular IRONMANÂ®Â and IRONMAN 70.3Â®Â race series in the Asia Pacific region both in triathlon and multisport,â€ said Geoff Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN Asia Pacific. â€œWe are always looking for opportunities to further develop our brand and have been looking to do more in New Zealand. Adding the Auckland Marathon does just that. This is an iconic sporting event that we believe we can help grow and develop further.â€
The Auckland Marathon has continually built its international reputation and comprises of five events â€“ a full marathon, half marathon, quarter marathon, 5km Challenge and Kids Marathon.
â€œWith the addition of the Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing in 2000, the event has seen incredible growth,â€ said Stephen Brown, Managing Director of the Auckland Marathon. â€œWe believe this acquisition is a major opportunity for Auckland. IRONMAN is a powerful international brand and brings significant and immediate global reach to the event. It is a fantastic opportunity for both the event and further recognition of Auckland as a prominent host to world class events.â€
The half-marathon distance is already sold out but all other distances are open for entries, including the quarter marathon which will cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge for the first time this year.
The Auckland Marathon organization will continue to manage this year’s event and will work closely with the operations team at the IRONMAN New Zealand office, under the guidance of IRONMAN Asia Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Jane Patterson. Patterson was instrumental in the establishment of the current IRONMANÂ®Â New Zealand triathlon in Taupo and IRONMAN 70.3Â®Â Asia Pacific Championship in Auckland.