WASHINGTON: Ports of Auckland Round the Bays, New Zealand’s largest fun run and walk, is returning for its 45th annual event on Sunday 5 March 2017. Enthusiasts are gearing up to participate in the iconic event, among them are fitness fanatics aiming to achieve personal goals, those entering in conjunction with fundraising initiatives for charities, as well as participants banding together in family and corporate teams for a fun group activity.
Organiser Fairfax Media’s National Event Manager, Brett McMeekin, says: “One of the reasons the fun run continues to be so popular is its iconic setting. The course spans 8.4km along Auckland’s waterfront from the Ports of Auckland to St Helier’s. “The day Auckland runs never gets old. It’s a fantastic way for locals and visitors to come together and celebrate the beauty of Auckland. Adding to this is the feel-good factor of doing something fun and healthy for a good cause”, says McMeekin. Charity support is an integral part of the event, with three partners set to receive a share of $50,000 worth of donations from the organisers. The 2017 charities are the Child Cancer Foundation, Great Potentials Foundation, and Variety – the Children’s Charity. Participants contribute to these charities just by registering for the event, and in addition they have the option to fundraise via Everyday Hero for a charity of their choice. The organisers have set a collective goal to fundraise $200,000 in total to help Kiwi charities.
McMeekin says every year they look for ways they can add more enjoyment for participants, and this time they have ramped up the on-course entertainment to add excitement at every corner. Stationed approximately every 700m, runners and walkers will be greeted with an array of musical and theatrical acts. Among the entertainers is “The Bubble Man” bringing theatre in the form of soap bubbles, and the Superhero Second Line band – with members set to play some New Orleans-style second line tunes dressed as superheroes. “Fun is the theme for the day, and this year we hope to see people on the course dressed up in costumes and team uniforms to add to the colour and excitement of the day. Prizes from event partner adidas will be awarded for best dressed via the Ports of Auckland Facebook page, so it’s worth putting the effort in”, says McMeekin. For the first time this year there is a family pass available, helping make it easier for families to get involved. In association with presenting partner, Ports of Auckland, family pass pricing starts from $85 for two adults and two children.