BY ALICA BRUNKE
Four thousand people competed in the Saint Clair Half Marathon this morning, a far cry from the 200 runners when the race first began 12 years ago.
Setting off in a series of heats, the starting line was abuzz with participants eagerly waiting amongst announcements, music and lots of laughter.
The race is Bowel Cancer New Zealand’s main fundraising event, with last year’s funds of $60,000 a “huge help” to the not-for-profit organisation.
Stefan Corbett, committee member and race competitor, says he has raised over $800 through his ‘Everyday Hero’ profile. As this morning’s race commenced they had already received $53,000 in donations and were still counting.
“Bowel Cancer affects 3,000 Kiwis every year – more than breast and prostate cancer combined – which many people are unaware of. This event helps raise funds, increase the profile and awareness of Bowel Cancer and educate people,” says Stefan.
Others were competing in the race for a bit of fun, an excuse to dress up, and of-course, the bottle of wine gifted by Saint Clair Family Estate at the finish line.
A broken foot didn’t stop the ‘Princess’ supporters coming all the way down from Auckland to cheer on their mates.
“Our running group has a motto if you are struggling – ‘suck it up, princess’! We’ll be waiting for them at the finish line with wine, wine, and more wine,” says Anya.
Dotted around the starting chutes were ‘Race Angels’, hard to miss in their fluorescent get-ups and happy to help with race information.
“We are so excited about today and to have a sister’s weekend! It’s such a well-run, fantastic event – We’ve walked or ran it several times,” says Rose.
*This article was originally published on the Marlborough App, which you can download here.
Photos used in this version were not the original Marlborough App pictures and are the property of the Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon.