15,000 set to inspire at ASB Auckland Marathon
Close to 15,000 participants from an incredible 54 countries are expected to line up across four events at the ASB Auckland Marathon on Sunday October 20, bringing with them thousands of stories of inspiration and dedication, many relating to the 13 official charities in the ASB Charity Hero Programme that aims to raise one million dollars for the community.
Race Director Adam McDonald says that organisers are focused on looking after every participant and recognizing everyone’s efforts as inspirational.
“We are proud of everyone that takes part in the ASB Auckland Marathon this coming weekend, whether you are one of the leading runners looking for a podium and fast time, or a weekend warrior with your own goals, or a debutant who right now is wondering what you are in for! We can promise you an amazing experience and think you are all amazing,” said McDonald.
“To the many that have gone the extra mile and registered with our ASB Charity Hero Programme and are raising money for one of our 13 worthy charities, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your efforts have likely already inspired family and friends but most important is your role in leaving a legacy in the community by helping these charities continue their incredible work long after the race is over for another year.”
The ASB Charity Hero Programme enables runners to register and fundraise for their choice of 13 official charities (see charities below), encouraging awareness and raising funds through their efforts before and during the event.
Among those to sign up are Rio Olympic Games silver medal winning sailor Alex Maloney, raising awareness and money for The Mental Health Foundation.
“In an ideal world, it would be great to lower all the horrible statistics on mental health in New Zealand, and give more people access to support. I think it would be really cool, if New Zealand can turn the statistics around, help people not only survive and get by, but thrive,” said Maloney.
“I think it’s obviously a big task with root causes being so individualistic, but it’s one New Zealand must take on, if we can raise a few thousand for Mental Health in New Zealand on the back of me running a half marathon, that will be fantastic!”
One of the official ASB Charity Hero partners is KidsCan and on top of the money athletes raise, ASB is donating a KidsCan hot meal (delivered into schools) on behalf of every participant who crosses the finish line on Sunday.
KidsCan Volunteer Co-ordinator Howard Gilbert is running the John West 11k Traverse for KidsCan and knows better than most the difference they make in our communities.
"I’m using an old pair of running shoes that have done over 500km of training and races. They're falling apart a bit. I’m using them to highlight the fact that plenty of kids go to school each day with inadequate footwear, with holes in them. If it rains, the water goes through.
“If it gets tough, I'll draw on the fact that I had an upbringing where I had everything that I needed. If I need a new pair of shoes now, I can go and buy them. There’s plenty of kids that can’t do that.
“I’ve been involved in giving new KidsCan shoes out to kids and I’ve seen the shoes that get traded in and they’re in a fairly bad state. Their new ones are met with beaming smiles.
“Furthermore, I think it's great that ASB are donating a KidsCan hot meal for everyone who crosses the finish line. It's a chance to make a massive contribution to others."
In other stories, Auckland’s Andy Harper is amongst the long service brigade, taking part in his 18th ASB Auckland Marathon but incredibly also bringing up the magical 100 mark in his marathon resume, with number 99 successfully ticked off in Chicago earlier this year.
Robert Scott (Bucklands Beach) might have claim to the most ASB Auckland Marathons but at the very least must surely be leading in the consecutive appearance stakes. The 54-year-old has not missed an event since it first went over the Harbour Bridge and on Sunday will clock up Auckland Marathon finish number 26!
Dianne Hill (Point Chevalier) is equally proud of her record in the Barfoot & Thompson Half Marathon and on Sunday will bring up her 70th half marathon in total, in her 26th appearance in Auckland.
All runners will assemble at their various start lines early on Saturday morning, with the wheelchair marathon the first event to get underway at 5:55am on Devonport’s King Edward Parade.
ASB Charity Hero Programme Official
Silver: Cancer Society, Catwalk, Starship. Bronze: Youthline, Save the Children, Blind Foundation Guide Dogs, Mental Health Foundation, Diabetes New Zealand, St John, Red Cross, Heart Foundation, KidsCan
2019 ASB Auckland Marathon by the numbers
Start time and
5.55am Wheelchair Marathon starts, King Edward Parade, Devonport
6:50am Barfoot & Thompson Half Marathon starts, King Edward Parade
8:50am John West Traverse starts, Smales Farm Bus Station, Northcote
10:45am Fitbit Family 5k starts, Karanga Plaza, Wynyard Quater
11:00am Barfoot & Thompson Kids Run starts, Fanshawe Street.
Close to 15,000 competitors (entries remain open), 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
All information is on the website, www.aucklandmarathon.co.nz but the courses in short are:
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).
There are road closures on the North Shore and in the CBD, the Harbour bridge remains open to traffic throughout, with the event using a clip on lane to traverse the bridge, for full road closure information and detours, visit www.aucklandmarathon.co.nz Plan days and travel ahead of time and with expectation that there will be some delays.
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.
Auckland Marathon – David Criniti (AUS) and Fiona Yates
Wheelchair Marathon – Brendon Stratton, (North shore)
Barfoot & Thompson Half Marathon – Oska Baynes, (Christchurch) and Camille Buscomb (Hamilton)
John West Traverse – Jack Moody (Auckland) and Ruth Gluckman (Auckland)
Fitbit Family Challenge – Jack Adams (Auckland), Sophie Robb (Auckland)
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
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