Event: Venue change has helped Hast­ings event

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By Bernie Bow­den

The 2013 Hast­ings Half-Marathon was blessed once more with a beau­ti­fully crisp clear morn­ing start. It’s al­most like it’s be­com­ing a kind of per­ma­nency, a re­li­gion if you like, that each pass­ing year, com­peti­tors have been en­joy­ing sunny skies year on year.

Since the Hast­ings Half Marathon in­cep­tion back in 1979, few races have en­dured rainy con­di­tions, most cer­tainly not in the last few years; let us hope it will al­ways be so?

This Half Marathon with its be­gin­nings, start­ing and fin­ish­ing in the City of Hast­ings has since switched to An­der­son Park, Have­lock North, where its present course is prov­ing to be much more set­tled, more scenic and rel­a­tively safer for com­peti­tors and helpers alike. It’s also well placed for those with speed in mind, the chance for post­ing good times.

With the climb around what is called the horse­shoe (Ensleigh Road) a slow­ing fac­tor, al­though one’s time can be made up of course on the lovely downhill re­turn to Mid­dle Road, from there, the rest of the course, is flat tack with few ob­sta­cles to slow the pace with only Te Aute Road be­ing one that could be re­garded as haz­ardous from mo­tor traf­fic.

Give credit where it is due, 99% of driv­ers have shown noth­ing but cour­te­ous­ness to the run­ners and walk­ers mak­ing it a rel­a­tively fast run to the fin­ish line at An­der­son Park.

From the Half-Marathon Run and Walk, to the Fun Runs 10km Run/Walk and 5km course for younger and less fit com­peti­tors, over 620 folk took part. This surely gives this event a spring­board for reach­ing 1000 par­tic­i­pants for 2014 in this very healthy and en­dur­ing sport.

One can­not end with­out men­tion­ing John Sewter’s out­stand­ing time last year for an 80 year old com­pet­ing in the half marathon in the time of 02:18:36 in the 70+ age group. John you are an in­spi­ra­tion to us all!

Be­low: A com­peti­tor in last year’s Hast­ings Half Marathon.

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