Event: Waihi Beach Fun Run/Walk

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By Frances Har­ri­son

Waihi Beach along the Western Bay of Plenty is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion dur­ing the sum­mer for hun­dreds of hol­i­day go­ers. Some go to en­joy the surf, some to go fish­ing, many to sim­ply en­joy the long stretches of white sand; what­ever the rea­son, the beach is in­volved.

Al­though this is a rel­a­tively safe swim­ming beach, the surf life­guards have a big pres­ence here. Sup­port for this vi­tal ser­vice is strong.

For the past 34 years, Ian Robertson has been or­ga­niz­ing the an­nual Waihi Beach Fun Run / Walk as a fund raiser to help sup­port the Waihi Beach Surf Life­guard Ser­vice.

This event of al­most 10 km is along the beach from the Bowen­town Coast­guard Build­ing to the Waihi Beach Surf Life Club. It is al­ways early in the New Year tak­ing ad­van­tage of the huge in­flux of hol­i­day­ing fam­i­lies.

The date shifts to make the most of the low tide, hard sand, weather and cool­ing sea breeze. This year it was held on Jan­uary 4 with the start time at 4pm.

The pop­u­lar­ity of this event is grow­ing. About six hun­dred com­peti­tors this year made their way along the beach in near per­fect con­di­tions. The sand was firm and the waves were tame. There were no stranded jel­ly­fish to leap over, no shore fish­ing lines to dodge un­der and only a few lit­tered bro­ken shells to avoid. Many com­peted in bare feet.

At $5 in­di­vid­ual en­try cost, ($1 for chil­dren) this would surely be the most af­ford­able event in the coun­try.

From young to old, hol­i­day mak­ers, lo­cals, se­ri­ous com­peti­tors, ca­sual strollers, run­ners, walk­ers, kids on bikes, ba­bies in bug­gies, ev­ery­one en­joyed the late af­ter­noon event. Many wore only togs ready for the cool­ing splash into the surf at the end.

With a sausage siz­zle to tempt the hun­gry, the dairy do­ing a roar­ing trade in ice-creams, plenty of spot prizes, this Fun Run is a real fun af­fair. It is an event wor­thy of its par­tic­i­pa­tion and a credit to its or­ga­niz­ers and cause.

This year Waihi Beach Surf Life­guard Ser­vice ben­e­fited from ap­prox­i­mately $2000.

The beach was thronged with both walk­ers and run­ners.

Be­low: Queu­ing up to reg­is­ter.

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