Vital vollies needed

Last updated 05:00 21/01/2014

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Organisers of the internationally renowned Motatapu off-road event, to be held March 8 in Queenstown, are on the hunt for more volunteers to help make the event's 10th anniversary year one to remember.

Starting in Glendhu Bay, Wanaka, and finishing at Butler's Green in Arrowtown, the annual event traverses through the stunning Motatapu Valley, which is open to the public only once a year for the race.

About 160 volunteers are needed for numerous roles and locations, including marshalling, manning aid stations and handing out finishing packs to competitors.

Volunteer co-ordinator Nicole Fairweather encouraged people of all ages to sign up and be part of ''an awesome crew of 'vollies'.''

''Some aid stations are quite remote, with volunteers camping overnight, and so they get to see some amazing scenery and thousands of inspiring athletes competing,'' she said.

''It's such a unique course; it's a real treat in be in that environment. The competitors are always very friendly and extremely grateful to the volunteers for giving up their time to help.

''We've also got Vodafone on board supporting the vollies. They'll have a crew out on the course volunteering too, which is fantastic.''

The off-road sporting event attracts numerous notable local and national athletes, including Wanaka-based Jess Simson, Braden Currie and Xterra world champion Nicky Samuels.

Other well-known competitors are Olympic gold medallist Nathan Cohen and four-time Coast to Coast champion Steve Gurney.

All volunteers who donate eight or more hours of their time will receive a Motatapu Icebreaker T-shirt and goodie bag as well as a volunteers ''thank you'' party.

The Motatapu brand is widely recognised and the 2013 event attracted a record number of competitors.

Entries for the Speight's Summit Mountain Bike category closed in record time but there is still availability for the Icebreaker Off-Road Marathon, Arrowtown.com 15km Miners Trail, Xterra UDC Finance Triathlon events.

Entries can be done online at www.ntemotatapu.org.nz.

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- The Southland Times

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