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Five themed runs we need in New Zealand


Some days, this is my definition of a fun run.

New Zealand running events organisers, let’s have a bit of a chat.

Having one of the most beautiful countries in the world as the scenery for all our running events means any run in New Zealand is guaranteed to be awesome. A lot of running events are referred to as “fun runs” (usually shorter events like 5 or 10k ones) and, although the fun is always there (if you’re into running, calling it a “fun run” is actually a little redundant), there are a lot more ways to add fun to the fun run.

I see a lot of international running events that not only add an extra element of fun to the run but, through that extra element, manage to attract new runners (people who aren’t too sure about running for the sake of running but who will take part in a running event if there’s something else in it for them). I follow the New Zealand running calendar pretty closely and haven’t seen any like the ones I will list below (do correct me if I’m mistaken and some of these actually exist in the country. Also, sign me up).

Here are five themed runs I would love to see in New Zealand:

1. The Color Run – I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who hasn’t heard of these. Even my tiny little country West of everything is getting one this year. Our neighbours have a Color Run tour. Are we going to let Australia have something cool and not get it ourselves too? I know I already run in pretty colourful gear but it’s time to get messy. Well, messier.

2. The Zombie Run  – You know you love this idea. I don’t even have to say anything else about it.

3. The Beer Belly Run – I run and you hand me beers along the way. Make it New Zealand beer and we can even say we’re promoting kiwi companies. Deal?

4. The Donut Run – A run where aid stations hand out donuts is pretty much my definition of the perfect run. But I’m flexible. If donuts aren’t ideal, make it a biscuit run or a cake run. Or, since this is New Zealand, a pie run. Basically, feed me the good stuff.

5. A Wine Marathon – One day, a few months ago, I heard about the Marathon du Medoc and it immediately became a bucket list item. Not only do you run across gorgeous scenery but all the aid stations are stocked up with wine instead of water. New Zealand, why don’t we have this yet? With the amazing vineyards we have in places like Marlborough or even Waiheke Island, this really needs to happen.