In less than 2 weeks time, Wouna and I hope to be lining up for the 2014 AMI Round the Bays Half Marathon in Wellington. The race has been on our radar for a couple of years, mainly because a major theme of the event is Running for Research, with all participants having the opportunity to set up a sponsorship page to help collect funds for the event’s main beneficiary, the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research.
The Malaghan Institute is New Zealand’s leading medical research institute focused on finding cures for cancer, asthma and allergy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and infectious disease, so they definitely deserve all the support they can get. I also have a personal connection with the Institute, having been responsible for their photography over the past few years.
So, if you have a few dollars burning in your pocket that you might want to donate to a good cause, please head over to Jog Around the Blog’s sponsorship page and make a donation! In 2013, the event raised over $40 000 for research, and this year organisers are hoping to hit the magical $50 000 mark.
As far as the run itself is concerned, it should be a fun event to be part of. The out-and-back course hugs the Wellington coastline, passing numerous bays including Oriental Bay, Baleana Bay, Weka Bay, Kio Bay, Evans Bay, Shark Bay, Shelly Bay, Kau Bay, Mahanga Bay and Scorching Bay, before turning around and heading back the same way to the finish.
When we did the Run Mahana Half Marathon at the start of December, we thought by the time we get to the Round the Bays in February we’d be lean, mean running machines, with a solid running base behind us. Of course things seldom turn out as you expect, and after a December that included very little running, we practically started over in January. So, to be honest we don’t really feel any more ready for our next 21.1km than we did last time. But at least we’re still running and despite being less fit than we hoped, we are still really looking forward to the race. Where the Run Mahana was a small, country run, the Round the Bays is a proper city race, with as many as 14 000 participants expected at the start of what is rightfully known as Wellington’s biggest fun run. Of course not all 14 000 will be doing the half marathon – the event offers a number of options, from the 6.5km fun run to the Snapper 10km to the Lenco Half.
Being an out-and-back course, there will be no lack of action – for us back-of-the-packers this is quite a nice race format, as it not only allows you to experience the race with the runners running the same pace as you, you also get to see the speed demons at the front of the pack as they come hurtling back to the finish. And after reaching the halfway turning point you also get to see the many walkers (and even slower runners) still on their way along the out-leg.
Definitely an day we’re looking forward to, and if we can perhaps collect a few donations leading up to the event, even better!