First annual Papamoa fun run a success

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Papamoa Fun Run and Walk organiser Lesley Park and runner Hannie Mastny,12 enjoying the atmosphere at the finish line. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
Papamoa Fun Run and Walk organiser Lesley Park and runner Hannie Mastny,12 enjoying the atmosphere at the finish line. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Papamoa's first 5km Fun Run was a roaring success with 1000 runners and walkers.

Children as young at four as well as grandparents crossed the finishing line and received their well-deserved medals on Saturday.

Organisers had been working on the event since the beginning of the year.

"It was a hell of a lot of work but totally worth it," event director Lesley Park said.

Ms Park, co-director Elle Reid and a team of parents put their heart and soul into Golden Sands School fundraiser and the result was "really pleasing".

Papamoa 5km Fun Run and Walk - can you spot Dyls and Dylz? Photo/Andrew Warner
Papamoa 5km Fun Run and Walk - can you spot Dyls and Dylz? Photo/Andrew Warner

Racers arrived huffing and puffing to the finish line at the Golden Sands School field where food stalls, live entertainment and bouncy castles made up a lively atmosphere.

Spot prizes have been donated by businesses in Papamoa and the Tauranga region - ranging from free beach front accommodation, $1000 in travel vouchers, a $500 Mitre 10 voucher and free beauty treatments.

Ms Park said they planned to grow the event, which had sold out three days in advance.

"Safety was our priority so we had to put a cap on numbers," she said, but next year the track would be wider and they might add a 10km run.

The money raised would go to managing the school's growth - since opening in 2011 the roll was rapidly growing.

The event would never have happened without Golden Sands Development, Next Door Realty, Venture Development and Bay Civil, Ms Park said.

Twelve-year-old Hannie Mastny came out to support her former school.

It was her first fun run and although sweaty and gulping down water she said she enjoyed it and would definitely be back next year, perhaps to beat her time of 25 minutes.

Big Dyls (Dylan Cossey) and Dyls Jr (Dylan Guitink), The Block's People's Choice winners, also joined in the fun run.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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