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Great day for a run

Last updated 05:00 21/03/2012
Kathy Lynch and Kath Rushton
Emma Whittaker
JOGGING BUDDIES: Kathy Lynch, left, from Sandringham and friend Kath Rushton from Christchurch take a well deserved coffee break after the Ports of Auckland Round the Bays.

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What a great way to spend a Sunday.

Sandringham resident Kathy Lynch and her Christchurch-based friend Kath Rushton joined more than 70,000 people at this year's Ports of Auckland Round the Bays Fun Run.

All were there to enjoy the picturesque 8.4km jog from Quay St to St Heliers Bay at varying paces.

The annual event is partly sponsored by Fairfax Media, publisher of Suburban Newspapers and the Central Leader.

Around 42,000 participants registered for the run and proceeds from their fees will go to charities including the Child Cancer Foundation, Garden to Table Trust, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Fairfax First Books and Kidz First Children's Hospital.

Fairfax Media chief executive Allen Williams says the day is a testament to the generosity and goodwill of Aucklanders.

"This iconic fun run, now in its 40th anniversary year, thrives on the fantastic support of everyone who takes part. It then transforms that support into significant charitable donations that benefit worthy causes each year."

The official race starter was 13-year-old leukaemia patient Sahara Adams who was called in after Prime Minister John Key stood down to attend the Wellington funeral of former All Black Jock Hobbs.

It's been a big few days for the teenager who met her idol, visiting American pop star Taylor Swift, a week earlier in Melbourne thanks to Make-A-Wish New Zealand – one of the day's benefiting charities that sets out to fulfil the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses.

"It is through the generosity of events like this that more than 200 wishes will be granted this year to special people just like Sahara," Mr Williams says.

First to cross the finish line in 28 minutes and 4 seconds was Jono Jackson from Auckland City Athletics Club. Second was Tony Payne who completed the distance in 28 minutes and 16 seconds.

The first woman across the finish line, Lisa Robertson, was nearly five minutes ahead of her closest rival, clocking in at 29 minutes and 19 seconds, followed by Nikki Hill at 34 minutes and 14 seconds.

Fairfax Media group sales and marketing manager Sandra King says more than 80 per cent of entrants were part of a team, making Ports of Auckland Round the Bays a big day out for many businesses.

Included were more than 270 Fairfax joggers.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson is thrilled with the day's success.

"We were delighted to help bring this iconic event to everyone as sponsors for the third year. The weather was great, turnout huge and enthusiasm infectious – what a fantastic day to celebrate Auckland," he says.

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