Run a rain­bow of colour

Central Leader - - Front Page -

OR­GAN­IS­ERS feared the eco­nomic cri­sis might hit num­bers at the HSBC Round the Bays on Sun­day but they were wrong.

They came in their thou­sands, in pink, blue, yel­low, red, green and ev­ery other colour imag­in­able.

They came in hats, scuba gear, cen­tipede and lion cos­tumes, snorkels and everyday t-shirts.

They came alone, with fam­ily, friends and work­mates.

And it all came to­gether in bril­liant sun­shine, and af­ter a 15-minute hold-up when a bus broke down along the 8.4km water­front route, nearly 70,000 peo­ple took to the streets for the Hong Kong and Shang­hai Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion spon­sored event.

Or­gan­ised by Fair­fax Me­dia, pub­lish­ers of this news- pa­per – with the sup­port of an army of vol­un­teers from the Auck­land Jog­ging Club – HSBC Round the Bays will pump thou­sands of char­ity dol­lars into Starship and Kidz First chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals, Hear­ing House, Gifted Kids and Fair­fax First Books.

On hand to help start the event Prime Min­is­ter John Key told the crowd he was proud of them.

“You have my grate­ful thanks that you have all turned out to have a great time and to help some good causes while you do it.”

The Na­tional Party leader also read out mes­sages of sup­port from the may­ors for Auck­land, North Shore and Waitakere cities.

De­spite the de­lay caused by the bus break­down, the crowd was good na­tured and in a fes­tive mood.

The event started when the army fired its can­non at 9.45am.

It took 20 min­utes for the crowd to pass over the start­ing line, with a big cheer re­served for the West­pac Bank team at the rear. The bank teamed up with the Hal­berg Trust to en­ter a team of 700 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 150 dis­abled ath­letes.

Squash leg­end Dame Su­san Devoy was among the helpers. She said it had been sev­eral years since she had done HSBC Round the Bays and she was blown away by the event.

“It is an awe­some event and Fair­fax and HSBC do an in­cred­i­ble job.

“It’s won­der­ful to see so many dis­abled ath­letes get­ting out and join­ing in, and see­ing the sup­port they get while they are do­ing it,” she said.


Take your marks: Good-na­tured Round the Bays 2009 fun run en­trants at the Quay St start­line on Sun­day.

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