Sun shines for fun run

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

NEAR PER­FECT con­di­tions greeted the crowd of nearly 70,000 for Sun­day’s 37th an­nual HSBC Round the Bays char­ity fun run.

The con­di­tions were fine over­head but a strong head wind made life tricky for the run­ners, walk­ers and wheel­chair ath­letes mak­ing their way along the 8.4km course on Auck­land’s water­front.

Wheel­chair racer Brett McArthur was the first to cross the fin­ish line at St He­liers Bay in 19 min­utes and 37 sec­onds.

The 43-year-old trav­els from Aus­tralia to com­pete in the event each year and is a vet­eran of 10 Round the Bays.

“It was the tough­est one I’ve ever done by a long way – that was a shocker,” he says.

“A cou­ple of the bays have a lit­tle bit of shel­ter so you get some respite but those are the ar­eas you have to go harder in to get your speed up again.

“The head wind kills us be­cause we rely on get­ting to a top speed and then main­tain­ing it.

“This was just blow­ing us back.”

Birken­head res­i­dent Ro­man Kruszewski was the fastest man and sur­prised him­self with a brisk time of 29m and 8s.

“I turned 50 last year so I thought I’d bet­ter give it a go,” he says.

“But I didn’t think I’d be com­pet­i­tive.

“Nor­mally you get a tail wind but it was the other way around this time,” Mr Kruszewski says.

Paku­ranga Col­lege teacher Sarah Devoy wasn’t far be­hind and clocked in at 31m and 25s to be­come the first woman home.

Her plan to ar­rive early and make sure of a good start­ing po­si­tion worked out well.

“If you’re close to the start line it makes it so much eas­ier,” the Paku­ranga Ath­let­ics Club mem­ber says.

The 26-year-old usu­ally runs in crosscoun­try long dis­tance races but proved she is just as speedy on the tar­mac.

Around 47,000 peo­ple reg­is­tered for the event and there was a range of eye­catch­ing cos­tumes on dis­play.

Jeremy Ste­wart, 37, from Kings­land, did not let the hot sun put him off wear­ing a full-body Spi­der­man suit.

And Green­lane’s Clay­ton Bar­nett, 29, and One­hunga’s Ni­cola Dale, 27, also made light of the bak­ing heat by don­ning me­dieval re­galia.

Bright colours were also pop­u­lar among some of the younger run­ners, such as Al­bany teenager Amy Burgess, 18, who was im­pos­si­ble to miss in her bright pink out­fit.

Round the Bays was in­tro­duced in 1972 by the Auck­land Jog­gers Club and its num­bers have sky­rock­eted since the first event, which at­tracted only 1200 par­tic­i­pants.

Pro­ceeds from this year’s HSBC Round the Bays fun run will help sup­port to Fair­fax First Books, Gifted Kids and Hear­ing House.

Photo: SHANE WENZLICK

Good luck: Prime Min­is­ter John Key, above, catches up with 95-year-old Ray Glasgow from St Mary’s Bay at the start line.

Photo: BEN CAMP­BELL

Su­per­hero: Jeremy Ste­wart, dressed as Spi­der­man, and Mia Ste­wart, 5, from Kings­land, com­pete in the Round the Bays in style.

Photo: BEN CAMP­BELL

Car­ried away: Clay­ton Bar­nett, from Green­lane, car­ries Ni­cola Dale, from One­hunga, over the fin­ish line.

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