Motatapu returns to experienced local ownership

5 November 2020


Motatapu returns to experienced local ownership

The iconic Motatapu off-road sporting event will celebrate 2021 under trusted new local hands. Queenstown based, event management specialists Gemma Peskett and Craig Gallagher announced today they have bought the highly sought-after event, from IRONMAN Oceania who have owned and operated it for three years.

A thrilled Peskett, who has been involved with Kathmandu Coast to Coast and Winter Games NZ for multiple years, confirmed it would return to a one-day multi discipline event on Saturday 6 March, 2021.

‘’The change in date now means we don’t clash with the A&P Show weekend in Wanaka, which we believe is an excellent way of spreading visitors to our region and allowing both events to flourish as well as the local economy.”

Registrations open Thursday, 5 November, when Peskett hopes to see a great number of regulars return for its 17th edition. ‘’We have both worked on this iconic event and as a past Race Director I feel I can bring a real passion and knowledge to Motatapu.”

‘’We want to be able to support our local community and bring in participants from all over New Zealand, maybe Australia too, border depending, to enjoy this epic slice of paradise. We are lucky to work with generous land owners who open up their Station for just one day allowing athletes to compete in this bucket-list event.”

Gallagher who has his own events company, Summit Events, confirmed a 2021 price drop for competitors. ‘’We wanted to make it easier for all athletes, especially in current COVID times to enter and enjoy the event, whether it be the Mountain Bike Race, Off-Road Marathon, Ultra Run or Miners Trail option.’’ Gallagher is well known locally for managing QLDC’s New Year’s Eve, co-managing LUMA and for eight years was involved in the Queenstown Winter Festival.

Motatapu will continue its work with the Queenstown Trails Trust, the Official Charity Partner, with $7 of every entry going towards the ongoing maintenance and development of trails within the Wakatipu Basin.


“We’re absolutely stoked to hear that the Motatapu is set to open entries this week for the 2021 event under new ownership. IRONMAN Oceania have done an impeccable job of running the Motatapu for the past 3 years and I can’t think of anyone more qualified than Gemma and Craig to take over the reins. I’m sure it will be business as usual as far as the event goes, with the $7 per head donation to the Trails Trust set to continue for the benefit of more trails for our community,” said Mark Williams, CEO, Queenstown Trails Trust.

Dave Beeche, Managing Director, The IRONMAN Group, commented, “The Motatapu is an event that is very close to everyone’s heart at The IRONMAN Group and we’re really pleased that it has found a new home and look forward to seeing thousands take part again in 2021. The influx of visitors to the Queenstown region for an event like Motatapu delivers significant economic benefits while the very nature of the event showcases the trails and natural beauty synonymous with Central Otago.

“We’re thrilled that the new owners will continue to provide the opportunity for athletes to race in this amazing part of the country, and experience this incredible course that includes parts that are accessible for just this one day a year. It is an event with a long and proud history with strong connections to the region. We’ve loved our role over recent years and wish the new owners well as they prepare for next year’s event.”