Over 1200 runners and walkers from around New Zealand took on We Run the Night in Mount Maunganui yesterday.
The event proved to be a successful day out for many including the 21km winner Steve Darby, who won with a time of 01:27:51.
Darby said it was surprise to cross the finish line in first place.
“I was in fourth place early on. It was so warm so I was being cautious, that course was very challenging but I think I got the benefit of taking it easy early on.”
He said it turned out to be a great event and good training run for the events he has coming up.
“I took the lead towards the end of the third lap so that was a high point. The fourth lap I was just trying to hold on because it was so warm.”
Darby’s next running event will be the Buller Gorge Marathon in February, before he takes on the London Marathon in April.
Luke Williams came second place with a time of 01:28:52.
Williams said it was a great event in a great location.
“It was great for spectators and just awesome having the event located in the CBD. I really enjoyed the whole event and the conditions were perfect.”
He said he participated in the Half Iron Man last weekend in Tauranga as well and used the training from that to get him through the 21km.
“I've done this event every year so I just wanted to keep on doing it.”
The first female 21km winner was Sonia McAllister with a time of 01:40:05.
It was her first time running in the event.
“The last two laps were better because it started to cool down. I run quite a bit, but it was the first time I've run an event at night and I preferred it.”
Established in 2017, the event runs as the sun goes down over Mount Maunganui. The distances include a run or walk 21km half marathon, 11km, 5.5km and a 2.5km kids dash.
Runners and walkers are encouraged to get friends and family together, dress up and get active.
The event attracted spectators and created a family environment with a Barrett Homes kids chill out zone, Hopt Soda tasting, Tauranga Samba drummers performing in the Main Street and DJs playing from 3pm.
Event director Tim Farmer said the community groups that got involved with the event created a great festival feel.
“It was cool to bring something into the urban space and to see the local bars filled with participants after the event.”