Record numbers race around the bays

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 10:02 23/02/2014

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A record number of runners, joggers and people out for a leisurely stroll have taken part in this year's AMI Round the Bays race.

Fourteen thousand people competed across three events - the half marathon, 10-kilometre and 6.5km fun run distances. The total number of participants topped last year's record by 1000.

Related: Check out a re-cap of the Round the Bays blog

Greg Collins and Anneka Rae embraced with the ''fun'' part of their 6.5km fun run by dressing up in funny wigs.
''It was a bit of a laugh,'' Mr Collins said. ''It was a really well-organised event and a lot of fun.''Wellington sisters Tayla Adamson , 7, and Rylee Adamson , 5, said their first Round the Bays experience was ''a bit hard'' but pretty exciting.

Their highlight was running through Kio Bay, where the residents squirted them with their hoses and had a bubble machine for them to run through.

Their mother, Sheryn Adamson, was proud of their effort.

''They had a lot of fun. We didn't approach it with much in the way of technique. The only tactic we used was me telling them to 'hurry up'.''

Martin van Barneveld , from the Wellington Scottish club, who won the men's 10km race in a time of 31 mins 48 secs, said being able to traverse Wellington's coast on a glorious warm day was pretty special.

''You never get to run around the bays like that with all the roads closed and the cars gone. It's a bizarre experience ... I'd love to train like that every day.''

Men's half marathon winner Sam McCutcheon, from Wellington, echoed those sentiments, saying it was much more enjoyable than running an inner-city course.

The local lawyer, who had been squeezing in training runs during his lunch breaks for the past few months, said he surprised himself when he crossed the finish line first.

''I thought there might have been a few faster people out there today. They must've taken the day off.''

Women's winners were Gabrielle O'Rourke in the half-marathon, with a time of 1hr 25min 13sec, and Katie Kemp in the 10km, in 36min 54sec.

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- The Dominion Post

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