Summer Starter run returns to Christchurch

FAIRFAX NZ

Grey skies and cooler weather did not deter the thousands of runners and walkers from bringing colour to the streets for the second annual Press Summer Starter fun run.

Thousands of feet will beat the streets of the Christchurch coast again this year in the city's "most fun run".

Under a new name, the ASB Summer Starter fun run returns to its original route, kicking off from the New Brighton Pier on Sunday, November 27.

The 2015 event was diverted through some rough terrain due to roadworks and conservation concerns when groups of nesting pied stilts were discovered near the running course.

Thousands turned out for The Press Summer Starter fun run in 2015.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Thousands turned out for The Press Summer Starter fun run in 2015.

An impressive 5500 runners participated in 2015, along with 130 dogs. Fairfax national events manager Brett McMeekin said he expected that number to increase each year.

"Our ultimate aim is for this event to be 10,000 people.

"It's Canterbury's most fun run – we've got dogs, we've got kids on scooters and we've got people dressed up in costumes."

Runners close in on Redcliffs Park during The Press Summer Starter in 2015.
DAVID WALKER/ FAIRFAX NZ

Runners close in on Redcliffs Park during The Press Summer Starter in 2015.

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Used by thousands of Cantabrians as a fitness booster, the ASB Summer Starter offered both a four-kilometre and 10km option.

"All ages, all races, all shapes and sizes come to celebrate Christchurch, as well as giving them the ability to give back to the community," McMeekin said.

Having ASB as the naming sponsor "gives this event a lot of credibility and fits with their other sponsored events".

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ASB also sponsored the Auckland Marathon and the Kerikeri Half Marathon.

St John was named as the primary charity, in a significant change to the event's fundraising model from last year.

Multiple charities were involved in 2015, but having one main charity meant a bigger impact could be made, McMeekin said.

"We will be able to give them a much bigger cheque that can make a lot more of a difference."

Participants were welcome to fundraise for their own charities leading up the the run.

ASB general manager branch banking Grant Gilbert said getting behind the event was part of "growing our relationship with the Canterbury community".

"Christchurch has been through some pretty tough times over the past six years, so from a corporate responsibility point of view, we saw this as a good opportunity."

 - Stuff

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