New marathon man

CHANGE OF CHIEF: Bayleys Real Estate co-owner and Mountain to Surf race chairman Neale Parkinson, right,  has handed over the running of the region’s only marathon to Wellington event organiser Daryl Bloomfield.
CHANGE OF CHIEF: Bayleys Real Estate co-owner and Mountain to Surf race chairman Neale Parkinson, right, has handed over the running of the region’s only marathon to Wellington event organiser Daryl Bloomfield.

The organisers of Taranaki's only marathon have passed the baton to a Wellington event manager.

Energy City Harriers have staged the Mountain to Surf marathon for 34 years but put it on the market in July.

Chairman and Bayleys Real Estate co-owner Neale Parkinson and his team say they have found the right man to run the race.

The director of 75 "Scorching" events based in and around Scorching Bay in Wellington, Daryl Bloomfield, will manage the Bayleys Mountain to Surf Marathon.

There has been no direct payment made for the rights to the event. Instead a royalty will be paid to Energy City Harriers for every runner who takes part.

A keen triathlete, runner and ironman, Mr Bloomfield ran the first 17km of the Taranaki course three weeks ago when he went to meet Mr Parkinson.

"I think they tried to break me before they even knew who I was and they came close," Mr Bloomfield said.

Mr Parkinson said it was the 38-year-old's four pages of questions that got the ball rolling.

"When we sat down it became evident that Daryl was the only person really drilling down to the essence of the event," he said.

Mr Bloomfield plans to offer three new races as part of the marathon in March, introducing a 10km race, a stand-alone half marathon and a children's 2.2km race.

Mr Bloomfield says he has never run the Taranaki marathon because it traditionally clashes with the Taupo ironman.

"I run with Scottish Harriers and they have always given the course rave reviews," he said.

"I was attracted to it because it's a solid event, it's a downhill course and has a good history behind it."

The aim is to give the event a higher profile and attract more people from outside the region.

"Hopefully adding the half marathon will do that because although you can contact race organisers now and they will pair you up, a lot of people wouldn't even bother to get in contact to find that out," Mr Bloomfield said.

The downhill aspect of the course, making it legendary for setting personal records, won't change.

"Any changes in the future will be discussed with harriers who will continue to be involved with the organisation of the event," he said.

Taranaki Daily News