Christchurch twins Gabriel and Adam Alberts are lacing up their running shoes to take part in the South Island’s favourite foot race as the ASB Christchurch Marathon comes to town.
It’s the first time the five-year-old pair have taken part in the fun run option of the event, where they’ll join hundreds of other children for the ASB Christchurch Marathon’s Kids Mara’Fun.
Mum Tina Alberts is a keen runner and says her boys usually meet her at the finish line – but this year they will run together for the 1km fun run.
“Fun events like the ASB Christchurch Marathon are a great way to instil a love of running and an active lifestyle from a really young age,” Ms Alberts says.
“Their aspirations at this point is to run with their mum and dad and win the 1km. Getting a medal at the end would make it special – kids love medals.”
The Kids Mara’Fun participants will join thousands of runners on June 3 for the Marathon, which takes participants on a scenic route around iconic city landmarks such as Cathedral Square, Hagley Park, the Avon River and the Red Zone.
Race Director Chris Cox says he’s delighted so many local children have signed up for this year’s event.
“It’s great to see these young people challenging themselves to take on the ASB Christchurch Marathon’s Kids Mara’Fun and we encourage the whole of Christchurch to get behind this important iconic local event,” Mr Cox says.
So far, more than 60 children from ages five to fifteen have signed up for the 1km, 2km and 3km fun run and organisers are expecting a field of more than 500 by race day.
Winners of the Kids Mara’Fun categories will also have a chance to ride away on a new bicycle, donated by local event sponsor Wisdom Cleaning, who are also giving away 60 free entries to aspiring young runners.
One of the fastest courses in the world, the ASB Christchurch Marathon event is renowned for its fast, flat and scenic track and is attracting runners from all over New Zealand – and further afield.
“We’ve got runners coming from all over the world to experience the speed and beauty of Christchurch, including from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom,” Mr Cox says.
ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Attraction Linda Falwasser says the Marathon is a great opportunity for people all ages to participate in a renowned running event.
“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for Christchurch to showcase our new city with the world and cheer on the runners as they pass through our streets,” Ms Falwasser says.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-timer, the event has something for runners and walkers of all ages and agility, from the Full Marathon and Half Marathon to the 10km and the Kids Mara’Fun, including a wheelchair option.
“Race day is June 3 so you’ve still got plenty of time to embrace the challenge, start training and make 2018 your year to run the ASB Christchurch Marathon,” Ms Falwasser says.