Little Antun will race on his own two feet

Antun Banicevich has been pushed and piggy-backed, wheeled and walked Round the Bays.

But this year he's set to run it for the first time.

The 5-year-old took his first shot at the annual Auckland event as a 3-month-old in 2010 snuggled in his stroller. His mum Michelle did all the hard work.

The next year it was on dad's shoulders, and in his third outing he was towed around the circuit on the glider behind little sister Ana's stroller.

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Next Sunday, Antun will complete the event on his own two feet, resplendent in a new pair of running shoes bought especially.

"He was so excited when he got his new shoes he ran up and down our road every night for a week," Michelle said. "He said they are called running shoes so of course they make him want to run -- fast."

The shiny white trainers were chosen by the Oranga Primary new entrant as being "more stylish" than other shoes.

He wears his socks pulled right up, again for fashion reasons, and swears the brand name New Balance also helps him stand on one leg.

The Banicevich family, including 3-year-old Ana, will walk and run the 8km course from downtown Auckland to St Heliers with dad Mark's taekwondo club.

"They run in their taekwondo gear and stop and do demonstrations as well," Michelle said. "They love being involved, it's not something we have to make them do."

The event, which was started by the Auckland Joggers Club in 1972 with 1200 entries, has grown to more than 50,000 participants in recent years.