The Striders are clearly doing something right when it comes to their start-of-the-year Super Sevens Series. Year after year I am amazed at the number of people turning up each Tuesday night to run or walk the 7km (or 3km) course along the Manawatu River, through the streets of Hokowhitu and back through the Esplanade. It’s a very scenic little course – probably one of the reasons the series is so popular. The Super Sevens really is a huge celebration of summer, good times and general physical wellbeing here in Palmerston North.
The 2015 series proved as popular as ever, drawing a total of 10 430 participants over the seven weeks (that’s an average of almost 1500 per week). While the weather was really good across all seven events, this year’s biggest crowd of 1 752 runners and walkers, pitched up for week 3. Wouna and I did 6 of the seven events, only opting out of number 5, the Tuesday after our Tarawera weekend when we didn’t quite feel up to a run (or walk!) yet. Instead of running that night, we decided to rather just take some photos of our Striders club mates doing their thing.
Throughout the series it was great to see such an amazing cross section of the Manawatu community come out to take part – people of all ages, shapes and sizes enjoyed their time out on the course. With mayoral elections taking place in Palmerston North in February this year, a unique feature of this year’s series was hundreds of supporters running in t-shirts promoting their preferred mayoral candidate, creating colourful blocks of blue, orange, green etc. Honestly, politicians don’t miss any opportunity to get a bit more face-time, do they?
And then of course there were the “fruit & vege girls”, two young ladies arriving each week dressed up as different fruits or vegetables – grapes, carrots, watermelon, peas, strawberries, oranges and, on the last night, mushrooms. I still have no idea if they were there for a specific cause, or just decided to have a bit of fun, but it certainly added colour to the event. Who knows, perhaps we’ll start seeing more participants doing their thing in fancy dress next year – it can only add to what is already a stand-out local community event.