Multisports: Devonport event gets families out on run

By Peter Thornton

Up to 1500 participants of all abilities and ages are expected to turn out for the Devonport Classic on Auckland's North Shore next weekend.
Up to 1500 participants of all abilities and ages are expected to turn out for the Devonport Classic on Auckland's North Shore next weekend.

Families across Auckland are getting ready for the annual JustWorkout Devonport Classic next weekend.

Up to 1500 participants of all abilities and ages are expected to hit the streets of the oldest suburb on Auckland's North Shore.

The Devonport Classic was initially set up by the Stanley Bay Primary School as a fundraising initiative.

"The event has seen considerable growth over the past couple of editions and with entries coming in abundance we should see record numbers," said event organiser Cam Carter of Total Sport.

The Devonport Classic has three distance options of 5km, 10km and 15km, which athletes can either run or walk.

"It's achievable for everyone. Whether you're 6 or 60 and want to blaze the streets or enjoy a leisurely Sunday stroll with friends it's all there."

Auckland families are training to be ready. Take Simon Forrest and his family.

The 41-year-old IT commercial manager, who is in training to complete his first marathon in the adidas Auckland Marathon, is competing in the event with his three daughters, Anna, 11, Isla, 8, and Lydia, 5.

"I want to give the girls a taste of running and walking in an event so that they might start earlier than I did," said Forrest, whose family team name is The Xplorers.

"Plus this is a great way to support the school." The event remains a fundraiser for Stanley Bay Primary, which Isla and Lydia attend.

"There is great support for school events across all the schools in Devonport," said Forrest.

"We expect to see people out on the streets just like they do for the Auckland Marathon."

Anna is running the 5km while the rest of the Forrest family are walking the 5km "which is quite a challenge for a 5-year-old," said Forrest.

The girls are looking forward to different things on the day. Anna "wants to do her best and enjoy the day", while Isla "wants a goody bag when she finishes" and young Lydia "wants to win".

Training together is half the fun.

"We have done a few family bush walks out west as training and I have been doing my own, running around 28km on the weekends to be ready for the marathon."

Kate, Simon's wife and the girls' mum, has opted out so she can volunteer at the event.

"Walking together is great for the family. But we sell it as an adventure - we don't like the idea of exercising for exercising's sake."

This is the first running event Kate and Simon Forrest ever did together and their involvement in the Devonport Classic has grown from there, with helping as volunteers and competing.

Brent Hore and Katrina Primrose are taking part in the Devonport Classic for the third time this year with their twin daughters, Amie and Georgia.

"We noticed how many kids were participating so we thought it would be a great event for the whole family," said Hore, a 40-year-old architect.

"Every year we take part in a dancing show in Takapuna but I enjoy this more as I am a better runner than dancer.

"We also have other friends' families taking part which makes it even more exciting for the kids."

Amie and Georgia, who are 8, first completed this event last year. They also took part in some other 5km total sport events such as the Hobsonville Runway challenge.

"This year our girls will do the 5km with Katrina. I am aiming for a quick 10km run in preparation for the Auckland Half Marathon," said Hore, who has run the 10km previously.

This will be the second year the Primrose-Hore family is doing the event together and Hore said his twin girls could not wait for the event.

"We often go for family-based events as it allows us to explore and challenge ourselves. The girls love getting the race packs and looking at the photos."

Amie is focused on beating her time from last year, while Georgia wants to come in the top five.

Amie said: "I am looking forward to running with my mum and getting out the lollies from my race pack and having fun."

Georgia added: "I can't wait to go running with my friend Alysha and having fun with her."

Event organiser Carter said there were a number of factors which made the event special.

"There are breathtaking views out to Rangitoto Island and the Hauraki Gulf and the run ventures around historic North Head and Mt Victoria, making for some spectacular running and walking.

"Devonport, its heritage charm and seaside community make this Sunday event a must-do for people in the Auckland area.

"Come the 23rd of September the area will be bustling with keen walkers and runners and the quaint seaside now with its cafes and shops will provide an excellent setting for a family day out."

Both the Forrests and the Primrose-Hores said it was vitally important to do things together to stay happy as a family.

Forrest said: "It is critical. As we all get busy and the kids get older we are doing less but our favourite times are adventures together."

Hore added: "It's extremely important. Generally kids will do what their parents are doing. If we are an active family then this has to be good."

- NZ Herald

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