Saturday, 29 February 2020


Inaugural Whitianga Half Marathon a resounding success

Last week Saturday’s inaugural Whitianga Half Marathon was a resounding success.

“We’ve had a total of 960 entries, 500 in the half marathon, 330 in the 10km and 70 in the 5km,” says event organiser, Kelly Simmonds. “We’ve also had more than 70 kids in the 2km beach dash.
“There were some teething problems, but nothing that can’t be sorted out for next year. Overall the feedback from competitors was very positive. They loved the flat, fast course and the stunning scenery. Most of the entrants came from Auckland, but we’ve also had people from Wanaka and Whangarei and even from as far as Sydney and Texas. There were many Mercury Bay locals as well, which were awesome to see.

“The event was a real community effort. I would like to thank our main sponsors - New World Whitianga, The Lost Spring, Guthrie Bowron Whitianga, The Whitianga Hotel, Whitianga Waterways, Coast 2 Coast Building Services and The Informer - and all our other sponsors for their support. I also would like to thank the Mercury Bay Cancer Support Trust, the Whitianga Lions, the Whitianga Sea Scouts, the FOMO trail runners, Suzanne Cook - who was a massive help - and all my friends for everything they did to make the event so awesome.”

It’s estimated that the event drew more than 1,500 people to Whitianga last weekend.

The half marathon was won by Hamish Martin in a time of 01:27:33. The first female home was Frances Stringfellow (sixth overall) in a time of 01:29:33.

Three Mercury Bay locals who did exceptionally well are Mercury Bay Area School Year 10 student, Tiana Tiro, who was the first female home in the 10km (out of a total of 131 female competitors), Dana Nash, the second female home in the 10km, and Sheryl Humphris, who was the fastest walker overall in the half marathon (out of a total of 118 walkers).

Next year’s Whitianga Half marathon will take place on Saturday 25 May. The total number of entries will be capped at 2,500. Keep an eye on the event’s website, for updates and to see when registrations open.


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