Thousands prepare for the ASB Summer Starter

It was Kieran Blatch's idea for the family to dress as The Simpsons in last year's Summer Starter. This year they will ...
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

It was Kieran Blatch's idea for the family to dress as The Simpsons in last year's Summer Starter. This year they will be characters from Inside Out.

A raft of human emotions will run wild at this year's ASB Summer Starter.

That is, the Blatch family will take part in the event for the second time, dressed as their favourite characters from Pixar's Inside Out.

Fear, anger, joy, sadness and disgust will be among the more than 3000 runners, walkers and costume-wearers for Sunday's big event, while mum Annelyse Blatch embodies the film's dancing rainbow unicorn.

ASB will give $1000 to the best-dressed "Team Yellow" family.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

ASB will give $1000 to the best-dressed "Team Yellow" family.

Blatch said her family's time at the fun run last year, painted and dressed as The Simpsons, sealed their interest in continuing to take part as the annual event entered its third year.

"We had two Lisas and the baby was Maggie. My poor, long-suffering husband was Homer. Every time I look at the photos I laugh . . . we'll be back every year now."

She said her family thought of the event as a good way of "welcoming in summer".

Dogs are welcomed back onto the 10km course this year. Kevin the Doberman pup, complete with tutu, took part in last ...
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Dogs are welcomed back onto the 10km course this year. Kevin the Doberman pup, complete with tutu, took part in last year's Summer Starter.

"It's just so nice to see everyone so bright and happy – as long as it's not wet – and there's kids and dogs and lots and lots of people taking part. It's just neat.

"It's nice, especially after the quakes – anything that brings people together."

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said if morning fun-runners were lucky they would "see a few breaks" in the high cloud forecast.

"There might be a few spots of rain [on Saturday], but Sunday's looking mostly dry, with some high cloud, but still with those gusty north-westerlies."

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A high of 18 degrees Celsius was expected but a south-westerly turn could bring showers in the afternoon.

Hoping to keep with summer would be the swarms of yellow expected on the day. ASB had nominated its own "Team Yellow" ambassadors, and $1000 was to be given to the best-dressed team yellow family.

More than 50 volunteers will hand out 15,000 biodegradable cups and 5000 bottles of water to keep participants hydrated.

That included the more than 200 dogs expected across both tracks after the 10km course was reopened to man's best friend this year.

The 10km course begins at New Brighton Pier at 9am. Those doing the 4km distance will start at Ti Rakau Reserve from 9.45am.

Both distances cross the finish line at Redcliffs Park.

Shuttles are operating between 7.30am and 1.30pm from McCormacks Bay Reserve to the 10km and 4km start lines.

Afterwards, participants can be taken from outside Redcliffs School back to the 10km and 4km start lines between 10am and 1.30pm.

Free yellow merchandise will be given out to encourage runners and their dogs to dress in, and run for, team yellow.

Spot prizes will be given out, including Bluetooth headphones plus a $1,000 travel voucher for the best dressed Team Yellow family.

* Register now to enter the 2016 ASB Summer Starter at summerstarter.co.nz

 - Stuff

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