North Shore Times : February 19th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 7 NORTH SHORE TIMES, FEBRUARY 19, 2013 NEWS Ph 09 437 5844 anytime for an information pack www.fallsestate.co.nz Phone Graham or Ailsa to view now 94 Boundary Road, Tikipunga Whangarei, New Zealand 4974063AC Start your dream today at Northland's Premier lifestyle village for the over 55's • 2 Hole 3 Par Golf Course • Shop and Bar • Spa Pool & Swimming Pool • Croquet • Gymnasium • Blokes Shed • Billiards and Pool • Hair Salon • Restaurant • Indoor Bowls • Library • Campervan Park The Falls Estate Facilities Plus many, many more facilities "It could be the best decision you ever make!" Two beautiful properties have come available in the picturesque Falls Estate Lifestyle Village. With 24/7 emergency assistance with the Village managers Graham and Alisa who live on site you can experience the perfect balance of independence, security, great company, new friends and fun times. Ref: 64 Ref: 58 Building Greatness. To visit our Kindergarten, request a prospectus or book a school tour, please contact the Registrar, 415 9566 Ext 2324 or firstname.lastname@example.org It's best to start early. Charity run started small Looking back: Don Walker is the longest serving member of the Auckland Joggers Club and has been involved in organising Round the Bays for the last 41 years. Photo: JASON OXENHAM Road runners: Ports of Auckland Round the Bays entrants make use of the road now that it is closed to traffic for the event. By LAUREN PRIESTLEY What were you doing in 1972? Don Walker was organising the first Round the Bays fun run, which has now exploded into the largest mass participation event in New Zealand. Up to 80,000 pavement pounders have taken to the waterfront in the Ports of Auckland Round the Bays for more than four decades and Mr Walker says the event is here to stay. It ll be here forever. That s not wishful thinking, either. It s an Auckland fun day and it will never go. The 72-year-old remembers what it was like organising the first offic- ial run all those years ago -- with- out computers. The idea came from Auckland Joggers Club founder Colin Kay and the club has been organising the event ever since. Bib numbers were handwritten by Mr Walker and fellow club members in his handbag manufac- turing factory, he says. Race entry was $1 and every- thing was sent by post. Computers just hadn t been born at that stage. It was all done by snail mail. It took weeks and weeks, but we had to start some- where. He says the Auckland Joggers Club predicted a relatively small turnout of about 300 people. We were really fishing. We had no idea of the interest. Entries started flooding in and eventually there were 792 official competitors for the event. Freeloaders turning up meant more than 1200 ran on the day. Mr Walker says the organising committee was astonished. We were just beside ourselves. We couldn t believe the numbers. The first run started at the Auck- land Town Hall with runners wind- ing along Tamaki Dr and finishing up at St Heliers. The course remains the same but it now kicks off in Quay St. Tamaki Dr was not closed for the first run because the expected number of participants would have fitted on the footpath, Mr Walker says. It was absolute chaos. They had to run on the road, whether they tried to or not, dodging the cars. It was just a nightmare. Mr Walker says the event was originally dominated by men. He was Auckland Joggers Club presi- dent from 1975 to 1977 and actively sought women members, so he s been pleased to see their numbers increase over the decades. It was so unusual to see a woman jogging back then. It just wasn t done. The event now includes families, groups of work colleagues, walkers, prams and wheelchairs. Children were encouraged to take part in 1986 and later a stag- gered start was introduced to allow racers to get away before the onrush of the mob. But Mr Walker says the event is not meant to be a race. Competition s just not in the sport of the day. It s about running within yourself. You are competing with yourself. He says being involved with the event has kept him young. He has been a member of the joggers club for nearly 50 years and used to jog four times a week. He s had two hip replacements but still walks with the club weekly. It has been the best thing in my life. We used to call it time on your legs . I m going to live to over 100. Ports of Auckland Round the Bays is co-owned by the Auckland Joggers Club and Fairfax Media, owner of the North Shore Times. Registration fees will be donated to a raft of nominated charities including YMCA Camp Adair, Auckland Cystic Fibrosis, Choice Foundation Stand Tall Pro- gramme, Variety, Make-A-Wish NZ and Fairfax First Books. Register: roundthebays.co.nz.
February 15th 2013
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