Surf to Stadium ‘buzz’ predicted

Reversing the course of a popular community fun run so  it ends at  Forsyth Barr Stadium is likely to spark a "buzz" of excitement.

Sport Otago business development  and events manager Michael Smith made that prediction yesterday about the renamed  "Surf to Stadium" 10km fun run and walk, being held on Sunday, April 22.

The 10km run and walk will end at the stadium and  participants will also complete a lap around the outside of the playing field area within the stadium, to end the run.

"They’re going to be part of something that’s fun.

"It’s not something you do that often.

"It will create a real buzz".

Also offered on the day will be a 4km run and walk from the stadium  to Ravensbourne and back.

Sport Otago business development and events manager Michael Smith at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo:...
Sport Otago business development and events manager Michael Smith at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo: Linda Robertson
The two events are being synchronised so  many participants will finish about the same time, and can then enjoy a family picnic on a grassy area in the stadium, listen to some live music or otherwise enjoy themselves.

The Otago Daily Times is among the sponsors.

Mr Smith said 1700 people took part in  Stadium to Surf events last year, up about 350 on the previous year.

And there was no reason why this year’s attractive new end point would not help boost numbers to 2000 or higher.

Event organisers had made considerable efforts to provide community sport-related displays and activities at last year’s Hancock Park finish point.

But organisers had "really struggled" with poor, cloudy weather and strong winds, which meant many runners simply left quickly to head home for a shower.

Another change this year is that the previous 3km and 5km runs and walks have been replaced by a single 4km run or walk.

Mr Smith said that the new all-weather venue and the planned family picnic and associated events were likely to attract more people.

And the high-profile stadium would also be an inviting beacon on the horizon for runners moving towards the end of the run.

More people were likely to linger inside the stadium and to have a picnic, enjoy some live music and soak up the message of "getting active", with "big mental health" benefits as well.

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