Summer Starter draws in thousands
More than 3200 people flocked to Christchurch's beachside suburbs for the ASB Summer Starter on Sunday.
St John fundraising and marketing manager Debbie Pipson, who completed the 10km run, was pleased with the event's response and the help it offered towards St John.
"I'm buggered, but I actually feel good. I hurt my back last week but I didn't let that stop me. It's really good for the team, we're all about health and well being."
She said some of the proceeds of the day went towards St John Ambulance service. St John needed to raise $54,000 every day, after Government funding, to keep running in the South Island.
Kristine Grooby was the first wheelchair user over the finish line, completing the 10km track in an hour and 12 minutes.
"It feels really good. It was a challenge last year so I'm really proud of myself, it's a good achievement."
Grooby took home a sports bag full of gear and a $200 Thermotech voucher.
She had been in a wheelchair for three years, and said she was more into cycling and hitting the gym before her "health changed". It was great that Christchurch could incorporate wheelchair users in events like the Summer Starter she said.
Grooby said she concentrated on setting goals for herself in training
"When I'm at the gym, it's for an event. All the training you do, it's worth it for this moment."
Grooby was now looking towards competing in the Buller Half Marathon.
Halswell couple John Smith and Lyn Dawson had no apprehensions being the only wheelchair team doing the 4km route.
"I'm a bit disappointed we're the only wheelchair [on this route]," Dawson said.
Smith said he had no concerns "whatsoever" doing his first Summer Starter without training.
"What? Training? I didn't even train for rugby," he said.
Dawson said she had been training at the gym and wanted to put it to good use.
"It was her idea, she's the motivator. She's the boss," Smith said of Dawson.
Along with "borrowed" dog Jack they took on the 4km route in Sunday's fun run.
Gusty nor'westers made the course blustery for the thousands taking part in the annual seaside fun run and walk.
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 travel voucher was to be given to the best-dressed team yellow family.
The Riwaka family, of Hoon Hei, took part in the 4km route for the first time and took home the voucher for their costumes as "The Emojis".
Each of the five family members wore a homemade mask representing a different emoji along with a yellow top.
Dad Shayne, who dyed his hair yellow for the day, said he originally thought of going in masks, but his wife Michaela said they should go "full on".
"I was just thinking yellow and what we could do as a family," Michaela said of her decision to don the emotive masks.
The masks were made "to suit" each family member, with Shayne as Cheese Ball, Michaela as The Queen, kids Izaria, 12, as Cake Face, Keishyia, 9, as Cry Baby and young Jackson, 5, as the Cool Dude.
Keishyia said the family wanted to go as road cones, but they would save that for next year.
They had not yet decided on where to go with their voucher, as they all had different ideas, but would put it towards a family holiday.
Eliot Sinclair director Warren Haynes, a member of a group of Santas who donned red suits and fake beards for the run, said the run was all about the sausages on the barbecue at the finish line, but the group were stocked to support the cause.
The idea was Ryan Orange's who said "coming up to Christmas, why not do a Santa run?"
Another Eliot Sinclair employee, Darren Hocken said the last 4km were easy because they had "a tail wind".
Eliot Sinclair took away the award for best dressed corporate suite, a prize of a $500 morning tea shout for the company's more than 100 staff.
Gemma Wyllie and Bella Pownall from New World Redcliffs were handing out bananas at Redcliffs Park finish line.
"Last year we had two crates of them, that's about 2000 bananas and we gave them all away," Wylie said.
Runners were happy to receive a package of potassium and energy after their efforts, the girls said.
"Everyone's so nice, they're so happy after their run," Pownall said.
More than 50 volunteers handed 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 began at New Brighton Pier at 9am. Those doing the 4km distance started at Ti Rakau Reserve from 10am.
Both distances crossed the finish line at Redcliffs Park where there was food stalls and entertainment from well known busker Mullet Man.