Sport Bay of Plenty

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Mini Marathon no longer as event continues to grow

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

For Sport Bay of Plenty Sport Director Melissa Gordon, the Rotorua Mini Marathon holds a special place in her heart.

The biggest event in the Central Bay of Plenty school sport calendar, it’s also an event her own children have participated in – and it left a lasting impression.

“I’m always pleased to tell them how much the event has grown since they took part. My daughter even helped me set out the course one year.”

And grown it has. Founded in 2010 with just 60 students, the 2018 Rotorua Mini Marathon on Friday, May 4 will cater to nearly 2500 primary and intermediate students from 28 schools.

The event is a collaborative project between Sport Bay of Plenty, Event Promotions (Rotorua Marathon Directors), Events and Venues (Rotorua Lakes Council) and Athletics NZ, with the aim of getting more primary school children involved in running events by giving them a taste of what to expect.

Participating children track 40km worth of running using their passport in the lead-up to the big day, then complete the final kilometres of their ‘marathon’ on the actual course used for the Rotorua Marathon on Saturday May 5.

“This gives them an idea of just how far a full 42km marathon is, and a true sense of accomplishment when they complete it,” says Melissa.

Melissa attributes word of mouth between the participants and their friends for its increase in size, as well as the schools wholeheartedly supporting the event for its ‘give it a go’ attitude – something Melissa believes is key to its success.

“They don’t have to be runners or the fastest kid in school, there’s no timing or places – it’s just about having fun!

“I love hearing all the excitement from the kids leading up to the race, and seeing the kids’ and the supporter’s faces light up as they come over the finish line.Often adults run along with the little ones for support and it is awesome to see them getting involved.”

To acknowledge the amazing effort from the children, each participant receives a Certificate of Completion and the opportunity to take home a spot prize.

The first race begins 10am outside the Energy Events Centre in the Government Gardens.

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