Entries up in Bridge to Beach event

Jason Palmer leads the half marathon.
Jason Palmer leads the half marathon.
Mel Aitken leads all women in the  half marathon from Balclutha to Kaka Point. Photos by Hamish...
Mel Aitken leads all women in the half marathon from Balclutha to Kaka Point. Photos by Hamish MacLean.
Riley (6), left, and Callum Wilson (8), of Gore, show their support for their aunt Monica Wilson,...
Riley (6), left, and Callum Wilson (8), of Gore, show their support for their aunt Monica Wilson, of Timaru.
Tracey Murray, of Balclutha, gets a lift from her daughters Katie (7) and Hannah (5), who joined...
Tracey Murray, of Balclutha, gets a lift from her daughters Katie (7) and Hannah (5), who joined her for the last few metres of the Bridge to Beach half marathon at Kaka Point yesterday.

The oldest participant at the Johnstone Electrical Bridge to Beach finds walking gets him talking.

''Everybody likes telling a story,'' Russell Harris (78), of Balclutha, said.

''When you get talking, your body relaxes. You might not get quite as good a time, but you feel better.''

Mr Harris began entering walking events only two years ago, but yesterday he completed his fourth walk since Christmas.

More than 300 people walked, biked or ran one of three courses that finished at the Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club.

The 35km, 21km and 8.5km events started at Balclutha's Clutha Rugby Club Rooms or Paretai Hall under overcast conditions.

Tracey Murray, of Balclutha, completed the half marathon with her spirits buoyed. Her children Katie (7) and Hannah Murray (5) joined her near the finish line and the three crossed with broad smiles.

''I needed a kid at each corner, every five kilometres,'' Mrs Murray said.

Secretary of the Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club Lisa Lyall has organised all six Bridge to Beach events and although there were a few hiccups, and she would have liked a few more than the 45 volunteers she had on the day, there were no real surprises.

''The only surprise was how many people entered,'' she said.

''Last year we had 267, whereas this year we had over 300. So definitely getting bigger and better.

''Every year we get better ... but it's still a work in progress.''

The Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club was growing and the walk, bike, run event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the club, which is looking to do major renovations this year.

Results were unavailable yesterday, but would be available on bridgetobeach.co.nz in 48 hours, she said.

-hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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