The long-awaited inaugural Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay International Marathon is finally upon us.

Tomorrow morning about 5000 entrants will walk and run the different events - the Air New Zealand Full Marathon, the New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty Half Marathon, the AIA 10km Run and the Kids' 3km Run.

It is going to be fantastic and congratulations to all involved in bringing such a brilliant event to the Bay.

Organisers tell us that 76 per cent of people competing in the event are from out of the region, which is great for our tourism.


The event has sold out with almost 5000 people entered, but, as you know with events like this, they are social occasions, so a further 7500 supporters are coming along as well.

Air New Zealand chief sales and commercial officer Cam Wallace says there are a number of overseas entries, especially from Australia, as well as China and Hong Kong.

They certainly will have a good time and, as far as routes go, you simply don't get much better than this.

The full marathon starts on Napier's Marine Parade and makes its way through beautiful Hawke's Bay scenery to finish at Sileni Estates Winery, where all the other races will end as well.

The marathon is an exciting addition to a full calendar of events in the Bay, including the Summer Cycling Carnival, the Tremains Art Deco Weekend, Horse of the Year, the Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival and the Food and Wine Classic, and the Festival of Hockey.

No wonder things are looking so good for the Bay.