Multisports: Strong local feel at race

By Peter Thornton

Event organiser Shaun Collins said the West Auckland run is special in its own right. Photo / Kellie Blizard
Event organiser Shaun Collins said the West Auckland run is special in its own right. Photo / Kellie Blizard

It's an old adage but there is really is no substitute for experience.

A thousand runners are expected for the Waitakere Half Marathon tomorrow morning when the event begins at the Trusts Stadium, with many of them looking to road-test their training for the adidas Auckland Marathon and Half Marathon on October 28.

Event organiser Shaun Collins said the West Auckland run is special in its own right.

It has been going for 15 years and has a great local feel.

"It is a special day for the community and many local runners return every year," said Collins of Lactic Turkey Events.

"Fifteen years of the event has created a special day each year.

"And the fact that the profit raised gets spent on local projects makes people more involved and willing to come along," he said.

Local groups including the Waitakere Multisport Club, Sport Waitakere and the Piha North Surf Club, all help organise the event, so it's a showcase of local sport.

"It's a bit different in that it takes in some of the smaller sealed fitness trails around the area and therefore isn't 100 per cent road," said Collins.

"These trails take you alongside the Henderson Creek, through scenic parks and patches of bush, making it quite an interesting run.

"This together with the two-lap format and reasonably flat course makes for a great run."

The most common reason for entering the Waitakere event was to be ready for Auckland Marathon or Half Marathon.

For those who have been hitting the pavement with a personal best in mind the timing is ideal.

"The thinking is that this is people's last chance for a same-distance run before the big event and some will treat this as a last fast-paced run and others as assurance that they are ready for the Auckland Marathon," he said.

The Westy (Waitakere Events Supporting Talented Youth) Trust is a beneficiary of the event.

Its aim is to initiate and organise community fundraising events in Waitakere for the exclusive purpose of supporting and promoting talented youth in Waitakere City in respect of their aspirations in sport, education and cultural pursuits.

The Westy Trust was formed to encourage and assist the young leaders in Waitakere to reach their full potential to lead their generation.

The finish line is there to make all runners feel like a hero.

The race starts and finishes with a lap of the Douglas Track - a professional athletics track.

"It's quite an experience to start and, more importantly, finish by running around the track under a grandstand," said Collins.

"You can pretend you're finishing an Olympic race."

- NZ Herald

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