The Pay What You Want Tauranga Half Marathon is a running event with a twist.

As the name suggests, the entry fee for runners and walkers is whatever they deem to be suitable, an initiative organisers introduced two years ago to encourage more people to get active.

The event, based at Ferguson Park today, included half marathon, 15km, 10km and 5km distances and attracted a wide range of participants.

At the front of the half marathon there were some scorching times set.


The fastest man was Jonny McKee who finished in 1h 11m 36s, ahead of Regan Bones (1:11.59s) and Iain Macdonald (1:13.32s).

The fastest woman in the half marathon was Karen Donaldson-Barron in 1:25.49. Hannah Tomlinson was second in 1:29.14 and Ange Penberthy was third in 1:31.49.

Event organiser Luke Garea says allowing participants to choose what they pay as an entry fee allows people from all walks of life to have a go.

"It was a record turnout for the event, a record number of entries and it was a beautiful day down here at Ferguson Park. Letting people pay what they want just allows people to get involved if the financial barrier is too much.

"I think all the positive vibes from the people that come attracts others as well, it's just a format that works for us and keeps people happy."

He says when the event was started the goal was to get as many people active and healthy as possible.

"The feedback's been incredible. We had a lot of personal best times because the courses were really fast out there today, so a lot of people are driving home happy with a personal best.

"Our half marathon winner was not far off the course record, which has stood for about 14 years. It's good to see the elites at the front which is something for people to aspire to if that's the path they want to take. You get all sorts at this event, at the other end are the ones cruising on the 5km and 10km walks. It's fantastic."

Half marathon results
1st Jonny McKee (1h 11m 36s), 2nd Regan Bones (1h 11m 59s), 3rd Iain Macdonald (1h 13m 32s).

1st Karen Donaldson-Barron (1h 25m 49s), 2nd Hannah Tomlinson (1h 29m 14s), 3rd Ange Penberthy (1h 31m 49s).