Endurance tourism 'mushrooming' and some are adding beer to the mix

Fitness endurance tourism is "mushrooming" in New Zealand, says the director of the annual Tarawera endurance trail runs.

These intrepid Philadelphians are running and drinking in the interests of science. Source: Seven Sharp

And a group of runners calling themselves the Fishtown Beer Runners, from the Philadelphia neighbourhood of Fishtown, have brought a unique fitness philosophy to the annual Tarawera event, Seven Sharp reported.

The runners say they're following the philosophy of a Spanish professor called Manuel Castillo Garzion.

"There's a professor in Granada, Spain, who did a study that said beer is just as good, if not better, than water after physical activity in moderation. And we test this theory every week," said one of the runners.

They run through the streets of Philadelphia "and end up at a different bar every time".

Subscribe to their theory or not, the beer runners fit neatly into a fast growing niche visitor market, Seven Sharp reported.

"There's a thing now, it's [a] fitness endurance tourism type of hybrid," said Paul Charteris, the Tarawera trail race event director.

"People are travelling to New Zealand not just for the scenery, but to really partake in fitness and activity-based events and endurance sports and push themselves," he said.

"You get to explore parts of New Zealand that you would probably never be able to find yourself. It's just absolutely mushrooming."

As for the Fishtown Beer Runners, they say they're in New Zealand for their "responsible running and drinking in the interests of science".