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ASB Charity Hero Program raises 3/4s of a million dollars

The recent ASB Auckland Marathon has seen an amazing $743,821 raised for numerous charities through the ASB Charity Hero Programme, ensuring a strong and lasting legacy in the community thanks to the 15,000 plus runners and walkers taking to the streets.

With final donations still coming in, the figure is likely to rise a little in the weeks ahead, but already has made a significant impact on the 12 charities in the programme, as well as many others chosen by runners through the Everyday Hero fundraising platform.

Runners signed up, chose their charity and went about raising money through their efforts in the various race distances on offer on October 20 as the ASB Auckland Marathon ‘took to the streets’ and allowed participants to ‘run it their way’.

Mark Graham, ASB head of community and sponsorship, loves the engagement that ASB Charity Hero Programme facilitates between participants and the community.

“The ASB Auckland Marathon is a significant sporting event, and it’s inspiring every year to hear the stories behind why participants are fundraising for certain organisations. The collective effort from this year’s entrants will make a huge difference for numerous charities, including KidsCan who ASB pledged 20,000 hot meals to for kids in need, on behalf of participants. It’s great that this event gives so much back to local communities, and we’re incredibly proud to be supporting it.”

Mental Health Foundation was a notable partner in the ASB Charity Hero Programme, with many runners and walkers raising money and awareness for the work done by the foundation. Chief Executive Shaun Robinson was delighted with the turnout on the day.

“The Mental Health Foundation was proud to be represented by over 350 runners and walkers at the ASB Auckland Marathon this year. We know that being active is a great way to move your mood and we were encouraged by the commitment our team had to support mental health awareness. As I welcomed our team at the finish line, I was touched by the stories I heard about why each person was running for MHF. Many had lived experience of mental distress or illness and have found wellbeing through practising the Five Way to Wellbeing and being active.

“Thank you to each and every one of our team for not only taking on this physical challenge but for raising awareness and funds for the work MHF does to support people all across Aotearoa.”

One of those taking part for MHF was Lisa Loebel, finishing her first marathon complete with purple cape and supporting a cause she is passionate about for very personal reasons.

“In August 2014, I became depressed because I could no longer find happiness in my life, a result of living in fear.

“Thankfully, with the help of loved ones and some very kind and patient medical professionals, I was able to get the support I needed to feel like myself again. I'm in a great place now, and I want to make sure others have the opportunity to get the help they need and deserve.

“The more people that know about The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, the greater their impact, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family.”

Dale Lambie has been involved in CatWalk since the day Charity founder Catriona Williams suffered her spinal cord injury at a horse event in November 2002. Dale took an active role on race day, taking part in the Fitbit Family 5k alongside a dozen others raising money for CatWalk.

“The walk took place on a beautiful sunny morning with supporters lining the streets, music and drums every few metres, with young and old running or walking creating a wonderful atmosphere,” said Lambie.

“Between us all we raised about $15,000 which was a very satisfying feeling. We all had a great day ending up in the CatWalk tent still with lots of energy and enjoyed the goodies on supply and received our special medals for our efforts.”

KidsCan featured not only in the ASB Charity Hero Programme but benefited to the tune of 20,000 hot lunches courtesy of event sponsor ASB donating one for every finisher and then rounding that number up to an even 20,000.

KidsCan Chief Executive Julie Chapman was delighted with the support shown on the day.

“Every Kiwi kid deserves to go to school feeling warm, dry and full, and not having to worry about whether they will be able to have lunch or not. A hot meal shouldn’t be a luxury but for many, it is,” said Chapman.

“Since we started the hot lunches programme, demand has continued to grow, and having an additional 20,000 hot lunches makes a huge difference to children in hardship. We'd like to thank all the runners and walkers who took those extra steps.”

St John Paramedic, William Law ran the Barfoot and Thompson Half Marathon in full St John uniform, carrying his 12.5kg response pack.

"For a number of years, I've been part of the St John team covering the ASB Auckland Marathon, as a paramedic supporting the runners. It's an amazing event with an epic atmosphere. This year I decided to run but continue to support St John, which as a charity, relies on donations and fundraising efforts like this, to keep up their amazing work in the community," said Law.

St John Director of Customers and Supporters Peter Loveridge was over the moon with the funds raised on the day thanks to the generosity of donors and the hard work of runners and walkers.

"We want to thank the Auckland Marathon for their incredible support towards St John. We are grateful for our Charity Heroes and St John Lifesavers who devoted their time and energy towards running the marathon and raising much needed funds to help us buy new and vital lifesaving equipment for our emergency ambulance service. Thanks also go to The Big Smoke BBQ, for providing meals for our people," said Loveridge.

ASB Charity Hero Programme Official Charities and amount raised
The Mental Health Foundation of NZ; Cancer Society Auckland Northland Division; The CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust; The Starship Foundation; Youthline Auckland; St John; Blind Foundation (and Blind Foundation Guide Dogs); The Heart Foundation; New Zealand Red Cross; KidsCan Charitable Trust; Save the Children New Zealand; Diabetes New Zealand - Auckland Branch (DNZAB);

The bulk of the money raised went to the above official ASB Charity Hero partners, with $164,000 also going towards other charities nominated by participants through the EveryDay Hero platform.

2019 ASB Auckland Marathon Summary

The events:

ASB Marathon and Wheelchair Marathon
Barfoot & Thompson Half Marathon
John West 12km Traverse
Fitbit Family 5k
Barfoot & Thompson Kids Run

The Demographics

Over 15,000 competitors, from 54 countries; Youngest 2years; Oldest 85; Average age 36 years; Female 52% Male 48%; 715 international visitors (5%); Out of Auckland visitors 7%; 15 regions represented from Northland to Southland

The courses

All information is on the website, www.aucklandmarathon.co.nz but the courses in short:

ASB Marathon (including wheelchair) and Barfoot & Thompson Half Marathon – both leave from Devonport and make their way to the Harbour Bridge and to the finish at Victoria Park. The full goes up to Albany on the way before making its way down the bus lane on the motorway. John West 11k Traverse starts at Smales Farm bus station and makes its way over the bridge to the finish line. The Fitbit Family 5k is on the city side of the bridge, starting at Wynyard Quarter before going out on a loop course down Quay Street, returning to the finish line. The B&T Kids Run starts and finishes at Victoria Park (start on Fanshawe Street).


The first Auckland Marathon was held in June 1936, using an Auckland waterfront course. The race did not become an annual event until 1949, or the 1960s, or until 1992 if the Great Northern Marathon (Takanini) events are not regarded as the Auckland Marathon editions of 1989 to 1991, and it was not until October 1992 that the Harbour Bridge crossing was first used, becoming the first sports event to cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

2019 Results

ASB Marathon
Men: 1 Isaias Beyn, Australia, 2:19:33; 2 Michael Voss, Rotorua, 2:22:34; 3 Nicholas SUnseri, 2:23:57
Women: 1 Hannah Wells, Tauranga, 2:50:49; 2 Mel Aitken, Wellington, 2:53:12; 3 Sonya Cameron, 3:02:32

Barfoot & Thompson Half Marathon
Men: 1 Oli Chignell, Dunedin, 1:05:50 (new race record); 2 Cameron Graves, Auckland, 1:05:52; 3 Daniel Balchin, Cromwell, 1:06:59
Women: 1 Lisa Cross, 1:18:22; 2 Katrina Andrew, 1:22:14; 3 Karen Donaldson-Barron, 1:24:26

John West 11k Traverse
Men: 1 Jamie Reid, 39:55; 2 Julian Ng, 40:24; Jared Hartshorn, 40:59
Women: 1 Juliette Foley, 46:14; Ruth Gluckman, 47:53; Nichelle Milan, 48:36

Fitbit Family 5k
Men: 1 Daniel Minwen Chai, 17:14; 2 Neel Kumar, 17:58; 3 Daniel Woods, 18:17
Women: 1 Sophie Robb, 18:12; Chloe Brown, 18:25; Bella Browne, 18:34

Barfoot & Thompson Kids Race
Boys: 1 Robert Fitzpatrick, 6:24; 2 Phoenix Vandenburg, 6:32; Gabriel Sloane-Rodrigues, 6:34
Girls: 1 Kayo Findsen, 7:23; 2 Emma Davies, 7:52; 3 Sophie Snedden, 7:56

Wheelchair Marathon
Men: 1 Michael Taylor, Australia, 1:21:58; 2 Jason McGregor, Australia, 1:46:13; 3 Ross Ormsby, 2:07:43
Women: 1 Tiffiney Perry, Hamilton, 1:50:07

Push Rim
Men: 1 Dan Buckingham, New Zealand, 2:17:32
Women: 1 Natasha Price, Australia, 2:51:50, Laura Stuart, Wellington, 3:19:37

Record holders

Current Course Records (IAAF certified course):

Marathon Men: 2:17:43, Dale Warrander 2006; Women: 2:41:29, Alexandra Williams 2012; Half-Marathon, Men: 1:06:19 Matt Smith 2009; Women: 1:13:08 Danielle Trevis 2010

Best Performances:

Marathon Men: Phil Costley 2:14:03 1997; Women: 2:38:47 Gabrielle O’Rourke 1999;
Half Men: Dale Warrander 1:02:51 2005; Women: 1:11:02 Yukiko Okamoto 1995

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