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Features Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Marathon

08 January 2013, 8am

Thousands of runners serpentine their way across the picturesque Auckland City landscape: running over the iconic Harbour Bridge; passing through the central business district and the wealthy waterfront suburbs, spectacular harbour views open up. It is an experience, not just a run. The race is undoubtedly New Zealand’s premier road running event.

Why did the runner cross the harbour? To run back to the other side…

by Scott Newman

adidas Auckland Marathon
Sun 28 October 2012

Marathons in Auckland date back to 1936, when John William “Bill” Savidan organised, and then won, a marathon along the waterfront. That event attracted just 16 runners. It was only in 1962 that the annual series of Marathons began.

There has only been one year since then – 1988 – in which a Marathon has not been held in Auckland.

With more than 16,500 entries across all events, the 2012 adidas Auckland Marathon was a record breaker. The full Marathon attracted over 3600 entries. The weather played its part – it was a beautiful sunny day, with little wind and temperatures topping 20C.

The course through the city is internationally renowned, starting by the Devonport village sea shore and making the Harbour Bridge crossing. The frequent harbour views and the maritime theme in general, along with the city centre street finish, continue to attract increasing numbers of participants and to grow the stature of the event. This year the Marathon played host to more than 6000 visitors from around New Zealand and 50 other countries.

Managing Director Stephen Brown believes that the record numbers show the potential that the event has yet to fully realise: “the Half Marathon sold out in just 10 days – much earlier than last year and with an ever-larger sell-out field for the Marathon each year, demand is strong across the board.”

Brown is confident that international interest in the event will continue to grow with the support of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development and Tourism New Zealand. These agencies work with the organisers to actively market the event in Australia, Japan and North America. More than 1750 international visitors came to Auckland for this year’s event; 20% up on last year and tripling numbers over the past four years. This exponential international growth testifies to the quality of the course and the running experience.

In this year’s race some key innovations for improvement bore fruit. Brown notes: “We try very hard to include things that make a difference and provide a better experience. The harbour crossing to get to the start line is one of these things; returning across the Harbour Bridge on foot is another. The course is scenic throughout, and entertainment at the finish in Victoria Park adds sparkle. This year we worked hard to create more space at key points, to accommodate the increasing number of runners.”

Onward and upward: plans are in place to tweak the course for next year to further enhance the picturesque nature of the event. There can be no doubt that the largest ever adidas Auckland Marathon will take to the streets on Sunday 3 November 2013.


1 Rowan WALKER AUS 2:24:06
2 Scott WINTON NZL 2:29:18
3 Tony PAYNE NZL 2:31:07
4 Graeme TAYLOR NZL 2:31:27
5 Nick PANNET NZL 2:33:42
1 Alexandra WILLIAMS NZL 2:41:28
2 Sally GIBBS NZL 2:46:14
3 Anita KEEM AUS 2:46:47
4 Shireen CRUMPTON NZL 2:52:18
5 Candice HAMMOND NZL 2:53:04
half marathon
1 Edwin KAITANY KEN 1:09:39
2 Steven OCALLAGHAN NZL 1:09:50
3 Jonathan JACKSON NZL 1:10:43
1 Lisa ROBERTSON NZL 1:17:28
2 Danielle INGRAM-TRAVIS NZL 1:18:32
3 Maria BENTLEY NZL 1:20:49

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