All Black legend and Sky Sport presenter Ian Jones will join the field for a charity dash at the grand finale to the Westfield Albany Lakes Summer Series of running and walking events on Sunday 13 February 2011.
Jones, a 79-test veteran in the black jersey, is on the board of Harbour Sport, making him an ideal candidate to promote a race series which is encouraging North Shore families to get out running and walking together.
Jones will sound the start hooter at Albany Lakes Civic Park at 8am, to kick off the 5km/10km run and walk. Once all the competitors are across the start line, he'll jump in to chase down as many people as he can. For every runner or walker he passes in his 10km run, race organiser Running Events will donate $5 to St John.
“We're delighted to have Ian on board, helping us thank the paramedic service for their unfailingly excellent service at our events,” says race director, Rob Docherty.
Running Events introduced the Westfield Albany Lakes Summer Series of three events in three months starting in December 2010. It's specifically designed to get Aucklanders out having fun while charting their improvement in fitness. The 10km/5km run and walk are open to all ages, followed by a 2km Kids' Dash for ages four to 12 years.
There'll be no slackers helping the Kamo Kid bump up the charity donation. Despite his triathlon experience, Jones will have to work hard to pass a bumper field all looking to improve their times and to notch up new personal bests. Plus, there's some fierce competition to win Mizuno running shoes and 2XU gift packs by placing at the top of the Series Challenge. Jones is in the frame to raise over $2,000 if he can work his way to the front, but that's going to be a big ask!
The Westfield Albany Lakes Summer Series has captured the imagination of Auckland families, particularly the kids. The 600-plus entries to the race – a spectacular number for a brand new series – include 50 kids who have shown the grownups how it's done. In return, the kids have been treated to tremendous crowd support, with most athletes gathered at the race venue, crowded round the barriers to greet them as they come over the finish line. It's a fabulous experience that will set those kids up for a lifetime of sports participation.
Running Events planned the Summer Series as the perfect lead up to Auckland's newest and most scenic half marathon, the Coatesville Classic on 20 March 2011. Staged on closed rural roads with panoramic views, yet located only 20 minutes from the Harbour Bridge, the Coatesville Classic includes the new half marathon run and walk, the traditional Coatesville 8km fun run and walk, and, of course, our signature 2km Kid's Dash.
The Coatesville Classic will raise well over $2,000 for local charities, including the primary school. A stunning uptake – most likely attracted by the treat of a road closure – has seen early entrant numbers shoot past 500, most of whom are running the half. Docherty says at this rate Running Events may have to cap entrant numbers once the fun runners and walkers start coming on board.
Want to know more?
Rob Docherty, Race Director