Tariss Walters 250920tariss.jpg
Taylor Beazley 250920taylor.jpg
Jackson Blackledge-Shitlon 250920jackson.jpg
Isabella Malcolm 250920isabella.jpg
Lachlan Fullard 250920lachlan.jpg
Alia Holster-Haidzir flew down the finishing chute in the Rotorua Mini Marathon so fast even her shoes couldn't keep up.
The 11-year-old Year 6 pupil at Lynmore Primary School was one of more than 2000 children who took part in the annual Rotorua Mini Marathon event, a 2km fun run that finishes in the same spot as tomorrow's
Alia, who loves running, didn't let the non-competitive part of the event put her off finishing strongly as she bolted home - in the process losing one of her shoes.
She quickly regathered it and sprinted the final metres like a pro to the finish line to the cheering teachers, parents and supporters.
With the cloud of alert level 2 lifting on Monday, the Rotorua Mini Marathon was able to take place today
, having being postponed from the original date in May as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The event has grown to attract 28 schools since it began in 2010. It is run by Sport Bay of Plenty, Event Promotions (Rotorua Marathon directors), Events and Venues and Athletics NZ, with the aim of getting more primary school children involved in running events.
Children are given "marathon passports" when they register and are asked to spend the weeks leading up to the event ticking off 1km at a time as part of their training aiming to reach 40km. Then, the event sees them run the final 2km, thus giving them the feel of completing a marathon distance.
The Hits announcer Paul Hickey, who has emceed the event for six years, said it was always such a great event but this year was extra special to see the children able to participate after so many other events had been cancelled as a result of Covid-19.
"Seeing the satisfaction on their faces when they come down the finishing chute and the excitement right from the beginning when they arrive is always special. It was just great to see the kids out there doing something as many have had nothing this year, so for me, that was a real positive," Hickey said.
What do you love about running?
It's good exercise and makes you feel good.
Tariss Walters, Westbrook School
I like running with my friends and keeping fit so I can smash people in rugby.
Taylor Beazley, Westbrook School
I like running because I'm pretty fast and am going to smash it.
Jackson Blackledge-Shilton, Rotokawa School
I like running with my dad and when you run it feels like the wind is blowing in your hair.
Isabella Malcolm, Lynmore Primary School
I like going fast and it puts you in a happy mood.
Lachlan Fullard, Otonga School