Cow joins with wizards for Round the Bays’ magic

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It will be a day Bill Lo­mas will al­ways re­mem­ber.

The Herne Bay res­i­dent was among more than 70,000 peo­ple who ran or walked one of the hottest Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays events ever as the tem­per­a­ture edged to­wards the mid-20s.

Around 42,000 reg­is­tered for the event and pro­ceeds from their en­try fees will go to­wards Va­ri­ety – The Chil­dren’s Char­ity, Make-A-Wish New Zealand, Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis As­so­ci­a­tion Auck­land, Stand Tall, YMCA Auck­land’s Camp Adair and Fairfax First Books.

The an­nual event is owned by the Auck­land Jog­gers Club and Fairfax Me­dia – par­ent com­pany of the Auck­land City Har­bour News.

Fairfax chief ex­ec­u­tive Allen Wil­liams joined of­fi­cial race starter mayor Len Brown at the be­gin­ning of the event and helped feed the masses af­ter­wards, man­ning a bar­be­cue at Madills Farm where thou­sands en­joyed af­ter match re­fresh­ments and en­ter­tain­ment.

‘‘This has been an­other su­perb day in the long his­tory of Round the Bays and we’re proud that it con­tin­ues to be so pop­u­lar. Hav­ing more peo­ple of­fi­cially reg­is­ter helps boost the do­na­tions we can make to chil­dren’s char­i­ties, and this year over $120,000 will go to some great causes,’’ Mr Wil­liams says.

Tony Gib­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Round the Bays’ ma­jor spon­sor Ports of Auck­land, com­pleted the 8.4 kilo­me­tres with fel­low team mem­bers.

‘‘The spirit along the course was won­der­ful,’’ he says. ‘‘Ev­ery­one had fun whether they were se­ri­ous run­ners, speedy walk­ers or tak­ing it at a more leisurely pace.’’

Jono Jac­son re­tained his win­ning ti­tle for the sec­ond year run­ning, coming in at 26 min­utes 39 sec­onds.

‘‘It was good to blast it the whole way and see who had it in the end. It was a clas­sic race really.’’

The Auck­land City Ath­let­ics run­ner shaved al­most 2 min­utes of his 2012 time.

Rees Buck from Welling­ton Scot- tish Ath­let­ics come in sec­ond with a time of 26 min­utes 44 sec­onds and Tony Payne was third at 27 min­utes 7 sec­onds.

Amer­i­can Becky Wade won the women’s ti­tle in a time of 28 min­utes 59 sec­onds. Penny Pes­kett was sec­ond in 29 min­utes 15 sec­onds, fol­lowed by Ni­cola O’Cal­laigh in 33 min­utes 12 sec­onds.

Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays has do­nated $1.2 mil­lion to char­ity over the last decade.

Pho­tos: CATHER­INE HEALY

Dress­ing up: Bill Lo­mas of Herne Bay ran Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays in a cow suit.

Pure magic: Simon Un­der­wood, left, and his mate Ben Collings, from the CBD, dressed as wizards for Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays.

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