Thousands of people of all ages, down to toddlers in pushchairs, swarmed across Takapuna Beach yesterday for one of Auckland's largest community sports events.

The 29th annual Shore to Shore 5km fun run and walk from Takapuna Grammar school to Milford Reserve drew more than 5000 entrants, said event organiser Harbour Sport.

Many were children from schools such as Willow Park in Hillcrest, which fielded more than 400 participants from a roll of about 650, putting them in line for generous grants for sporting equipment.

Harbour Sport gave out just over $30,000 in grants after last year's event, which drew similar numbers.

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But chief executive Toni-Maree Carnie says the other main aim is to provide a fun day in the outdoors for families.