The 33rd running of the Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon featuring more than 30 Whanganui, Rangitikei and South Taranaki competitors, has a welcome twist this year.

The more than 4000 competitors go in the draw to win a Volkswagen Polo and every finisher also has a chance to win a trip to the New Caledonia Marathon and the first Wellington woman home in the feature full marathon will win a trip to Japan's Senshu Marathon.

This year 31 Whanganui runners or walkers will compete, while to date three from Marton and two from Hawera have also registered.

Established in 1986, the annual event has been Wellington's major marathon event for 30-plus years. With more than 4000 participants every year, it is one of the New Zealand's "Big Five", alongside the Auckland, Queenstown, Rotorua and Christchurch marathons.

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Based at Wellington's much-loved Westpac Stadium, the event follows a flat, fast and scenic tour of the harbour bays that is popular among elite and recreational runners and walkers alike. The event features something for everyone, including the Kids' Magic Mile, 10k, half marathon and the classic 42.2k full marathon.

Whanganui hopefuls registered so far this year (with age and discipline in brackets) include:
Brian McCarthy (60-69, half marathon), Peter Jones (50-59, marathon run), Liam Jones (U19, m/run), Wendy O'Malley (50-59, hm/run), Geoff Ryland (60-69, hm/walk), Lyneve Ryland (50-59, hm/walk), Bill Charnock (50-59, hm/walk), Leanne Allan (40-49, hm/walk), Nicky Scott (40-49, m/run), Margie Chiet (60-69, hm/walk), Heather Yalden (50-59, hm/walk), Lynette Brown (50-59, hm/walk), Tina Redpath (40-49, 10k walk), Joseph Redpath (U19, 10k walk), Tania Reynolds (40-49, hm/walk), Liz Newton (40-49, hm/run), Ann Stellingwerf (50-59, 10k run), Louise Bannicoat (50-59, 10k run), Des Healy (50-59, 10k walk), Michael Law (30-39, hm/run), Shaun Libeau (20-29, hm/run), Claire Libeau (20-29, hm/run), Mignon Stevenson (60-69, m/run), Ruby Armishaw (girls 9), Wayne Armishaw (50-59, hm/run), Rongotai Rerekura (Boys 9), Carol Stewart (60-69, 10k walk), Robert Stewart (60-69, hm/walk), Edvaldo Santana (40-49, hm/run), Joe Healy (10k walk), Marie O'Leary (50-59, hm/walk).

Marton entrants include: Melissa Young (40-49, hm/run), Matty Leary (Boys 10) and Benji Leary (boys 7).

Hawera competitors include: Nigel Corbett (50-59, hm/run) and Dayna Corbett (20-29, hm/run).