The 7in7 Challenge is a seven day trail-running odyssey, on seven of New Zealand’s most scenic and iconic walking tracks. The runs are designed to be recreational in nature, although competitors do have to be fit enough to keep up. Participants can opt to run in just one or all of the 7 runs but absolutely anyone can donate to the cause – the entire challenge is in aid of raising funds for the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation.
7in7 spectators this year are in for a treat, as the challenge takes in some of the best scenery in the South Island, including many trails and walkways which are considered accessible to casual walkers.
New Zealand’s Middle Earth
The South Island’s Southern Lakes District is a land of contrasts, ranging from big open spaces to deep lakes, fast-running rivers, golden tussock, glaciers and mountains.
The 2010 7in7 Challenge starts on the shores of Lake Hawea, near Wanaka and covers diverse terrain. Runners and cheering spectators will be able to take in lakes and mountains, icy rivers, old mining towns, valleys and beech forests. Some of the scenery featured during the challenge, such as Mavora Lakes, was featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
All the trails featured during the challenge are open to the public and vary from scenic walkways to challenging terrain. The Southern Lakes region encompasses Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital, Central Otago, the home of pinot noir, the historic Arrowtown, Wanaka, the majestic Southern Alps and, of course – some of the South Island’s most beautiful lakes.
The 7in7 Challenge circumnavigates the Southern Lakes District’s most scenic trails. The district itself has three of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’, including the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler tracks.
The Routeburn track traverses both Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks, and is part of the south-west NZ World Heritage Area. The track extends from the top of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and Milford Rd.
It is close to Queenstown, Te Anau and Glenorchy, which offers plenty of accommodation and meal options for visitors. Queenstown is also famous for its world-class restaurants, nightlife and adventure activities.
The 53.5km Milford track is at the heart of Fiordland National Park and starts at Lake Te Anau, finishing at Milford Sound. The Milford track is rich in Maori history and lore, as it was once a principal trail linking Fiordland with the rest of the South Island, and was used for the gathering of pounamu / greenstone.
The Kepler track is 60km long and runs a circular trail which also traverses through part of Fiordland National Park. It is an easy tramping track which usually takes three to four days to complete and all equipment can be hired from shops in Te Anau. The track also hosts the annual Kepler Challenge, a race which takes in the entire trail in less than five hours and in 2010 is doubling as the last day of the 7in7 Challenge.
Spectators wishing to follow the same route as the runners can cheer from the sidelines in some of the most scenic parts of the South Island
For more Information http://www.newzealand.com