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PAM.JONES

@alliedpress.co.nz

A potentially million-dollar event that empowers more than 1000 women annually is on its way to Central Otago.

The Spirited Women All Women’s Adventure Race will be held in and around Alexandra on February 14-16 next year, Dare2Sweat Events Ltd director Neil Gellatly has announced.

It was expected to appeal to the “adventurous, outdoors-type people” typical of Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes district, and in years to come would be held in other places around the South Island, Mr Gellatly said.

The team adventure race had been held annually in the North Island for the past four years and this would be the first time it would be held in the South Island, he said.

The event was about the size of the Coast to Coast and Challenge Wanaka events, attracting about 1600 competitors and 500 supporters every year. Last year, entries sold out in under 12 hours, one of the categories selling out in 37 minutes.

Mr Gellatly said the event was about “empowering women” and inspiring confidence in participants, and also had significant social and financial flow-on benefits to the districts in which the event was held.

Game on . . . Competitors in a previous Spirited Women All Women’s Adventure Race. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

For each of the past two races, the events were estimated to have injected more than $900,000 into the local economy, Mr Gellatly said.

Mr Gellatly moved to Alexandra with his family earlier this year, and his event management company is now based in Alexandra. It had therefore made sense to base the South Island’s first Spirited Women race in the Vincent region, but the event would be held in different South Island areas in future years, he said.

“I’m just pulling out names, but it could go to Kaikoura, or Tekapo, or Wanaka – it could go anywhere. But it will definitely keep being held in the South Island as well as the North Island from now on.”

The course for the event would be secret, and only availableto participants – who will compete in four-person teams – at the race briefing the night before the race.

It was thought some “high profile” athletes would take part in the event, and an equally high profile woman would be sought to deliver the keynote address during the event, although identities were still to be confirmed, Mr Gellatly said.

Entries for the event will open online at 7am on June 4.