Runners and walkers in today's record Round the Bays event decided to walk the roughly 10km back to their vehicles after facing a queue for buses nearly 1km long.
While most of those who took part in the event enjoyed the day, some were left a little unenthused about the prospect as throngs of sweaty, hot and tired runners waited in the sun.
Event director David Blackwell, of Stuff, says it was the first time they had offered free buses to all participants and would take all feedback on as part of their debrief for next year's event.
Runner Edwin Zijderveld said he and his son enjoyed the event - until they saw the queue of people lined up for the buses to back to the city.
"It was horrendous, the queue actually. One of the longest queues I have ever seen."
He said it was close to 1km long.
"We decided to walk. It's quite a long walk back, about 10km ... It's a really good fun race, DJs playing, and drinks and what-have-you. We started to walk to see where the queue started but we just gave up, and then we started walking. You couldn't even see the end [of the queue], it was ridiculous."
Zijderveld said they weren't the only ones who gave up on the wait; they walked with many others back to the city.
He was reluctant to complain but said it would have been "nice" to have more buses as the walk was a bit daunting after the run.
"it was a bit under-catered for, as it were."
Fellow runner Warren Young said the queue seemed "endless" so he also decided to walk back.
"After the round the bays event I walked from the front of the bus queue towards the rear of the queue.
"It seemed endless and lots of people were walking with me, searching for the end of the queue so we could join it.
"As one queue member told me she'd already been queuing for an hour, I estimated she was half an hour from the front of the queue, and the queue was clearly growing by the minute - so I estimated the queue to be two hours long, which is longer than the time to walk back to Britomart. So, I abandoned the queue in frustration and started walking.
Others had also posted on social media about the wait, one writing: "Really disappointed. Organisation for buses terrible and ran out of water", while another said "Round the bays you were quite awesome. Planning great until the end!!!! Auckland transport you are a joke!!! Queues and Queues and Queues and Queues and Queues just to get back to the start!! An absolute let down on an otherwise great day! ... waiting waiting waiting ... lucky for the Bottle-O [bottle shop] next to the bus stop."
Blackwell said the roads were closed until 12.45pm which caused a backlog for the 30 buses waiting to leave.
"Certainly for an event of this scale, moving 30,000 people to the city and back is a big undertaking and, for a short period at our peak periods, both pre and post event, the queues were longer than we would have liked so we'll take some learnings from that as part of our debrief with our supplier from Auckland Transport. But for those that experienced longer-than-desired wait times we apologise and we will look to improve the transport moving forward.
"This was also the first year we did free buses for all of the participants and we increased the number of buses as well, so we certainly had enough resource and buses supplied, it was just the sheer volume of people going at those peak periods."
He said the queue was cleared "well before" 2pm.
"Once the roads are reopened, the journey back to the city is a lot faster."
Blackwell added they had a record number of participants this year - 29,600 people - up between 3500 and 4000 on last year.
"Numbers were really great this year, it's been beautiful weather and we're really rapt with the turnout."