3rd Feb 2014
Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ulmer joins the pack for 10th Motatapu Adventure Race
New Zealand Olympic cycling gold medallist Sarah Ulmer is the latest athlete confirmed for the Motatapu Icebreaker Off-Road Marathon to be held March 8 in Queenstown and Wanaka.
With just two weeks to go until entries close, 37-year-old Ulmer said she entered the iconic race "as an excuse to come to paradise" and the chance to win "a fantastic $10,000 prize pack".
Speaking on a recent visit to Queenstown to check out the latest developments on the Queenstown Trails – the Trails Trust is the new owner of the Motatapu - Ulmer said she always loved coming to the resort town.
"The Motatapu is such a special event. It's so unique because you can only access the amazing scenery and course just one day a year."
This will be Ulmer's third time competing in the race, as she previously entered the marathon and the Arrowtown.com 15km Miners Trail.
"I encourage anyone thinking about entering to just do it. Enter, then enjoy and embrace it. This is a once a year – and for some - a once in a lifetime opportunity," she said.
"It's a great race and a cool experience just being surrounded by like-minded people for a day - smelling, hearing and absorbing all the things around you on the day."
"It also doesn't hurt that anyone who enters the event automatically goes in the draw to win a huge prize pack of goodies including a Scott Spark 720 bike. Nice, I'd be happy to win that."
The 10 year anniversary prize pack winner will be announced on February 13 after entries close. The prize includes; a Scott Spark 720 bike, Giro helmet, Topeak pack and tools, Smith sunglasses, Icebreaker Tech T and Socks, an Osprey hydration pack, Marmot jacket, two nights at the Hilton Queenstown, a Jet boat trip with KJet, a 15,000ft Skydive with NZONE and to top it all off a VW to drive around in for a week.
Queenstown Trails Trust CEO Mandy Kennedy said attracting someone of Sarah's calibre is testimony to the profile the race has gained over the past decade.
"This is our tenth year and it's shaping up to have a fantastic array of elite athletes, return competitors and first timers who have set the race as a personal "bucket list" must do," she said.
"Having Sarah compete is just wonderful. She's a perfect example of someone entering to enjoy the race and embrace the event, using it as an opportunity to grab some friends, immerse yourself in the fantastic Motatapu scenery and experience Queenstown with all it has to offer.
"It's still not too late to enter and entries for all categories close February 12 2014, bar the mountain bike which closed in record time last year."
Ms Ulmer said she hadn't trained specifically for the event but had some personal tips for fellow competitors.
"I certainly would do some off-road training beforehand, train with a camel pak so you know what that feels like and get yourself into some rivers. I loved the river crossings, they were awesome, they keep you cool," she said.
"I'd encourage some wine training too, you know for when the race is over and you can enjoy that well deserved glass of something local.
"I'm certainly not in it to win it and haven't set myself a finish time. I'll be chatting to people on the way, providing encouragement and enjoying the day."
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, and XTERRA UDC Finance Triathlon events.
Entries can be completed online at http://www.motatapu.org.nz/ and strictly close on February 12 2014.