The first ever virtual Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays got underway on Friday, with participants taking to the Wellington waterfront or their local streets to complete their Half Marathon, 10km or 6.5km distance. At 6:00am, in chilly conditions, the first Half Marathon took place, finishing with a time of 1:41, one of the fastest so far!
The in-person event was planned to take place on Sunday morning but due to COVID restrictions, organisers Nuku Ora, partnered with SportSplits, a mobile time tracking app, to provide an opportunity where participants have until 27 February, to take part in the virtual event wherever they choose - which isn’t just limited to New Zealand.
Yesterday, Nuku Ora Event Manager, Patrick Pierce, spent time at Wellington's waterfront where a virtual start/finish line has been set up. "It's great to see the feel-good factor of the event is still there. Lots of people have been sharing their achievements on social media and engaging in ways to win spot prizes. As participants see each other wearing their bibs, they give an encouraging nod or thumbs up. To be able to offer an event during these difficult times that gets the community active has been very fulfilling for Nuku Ora."
Despite going virtual, the opportunity to still be able to give it a go has been a positive element of the event, including the tamariki who registered through the Run and Become programme. This programme enables tamariki to participate in the iconic event who may have not have had the chance otherwise.
Run and Become Advisor, James Wright joined Mirimar Central Primary School on Sunday morning. "It was a privilege to witness the support amongst the school community while the tamariki showed their desire to give it a go and support their friends. Seeing the smiles from ear to ear at the finish line was priceless! We hope they're inspired to continue embracing opportunities like this in the future!"
The event's four official charity partners were ecstatic to see the event go virtual. During the current RED climate, many fundraising events have been impacted. Having the opportunity to Run for a Cause to raise funds for the charity partners despite the event going virtual has allowed for fundraising to still successfully take place.
Cancer Society, Community Fundraising Events Lead, Mandy Evans hit the ground running Friday lunchtime with her pooch. "We were so excited as a charity to be involved with Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays 2022, so even with it going virtual, it has been great to hear how the teams have completed their virtual races and see how much fun they've had… In times when we are at home, exercise is so important for our minds and bodies. Enjoy the amazing Wellington days, pop on your sunhat, sunscreen and good luck."
With five days to go, registrations for the virtual event remain open until 11:59pm, Saturday 26th February, with the event ending at midnight on Sunday 27th. All proceeds from virtual registrations will be donated to the four charity partners. Participants can choose to take part in one of the five categories. Visit wellingtonroundthebays.co.nz for more information.