Thousands gather for Hamilton's iconic fun run!

13th November 2016

Thousands of excited runners, walkers and wheelchairs users turned out for Hamilton’s iconic Round the Bridges fun run in the city centre today.

Nearly 6,000 participants completed the event’s 2km, 6km and 12km courses, each taking home a finisher’s medal and a feeling of satisfaction and achievement when they crossed the finish line.

Among the mass of participants, over 240 teams came together to enjoy the day’s festivities, adding to the lively atmosphere at event base and to the spectrum of colours, costumes and team uniforms that made its way around the city’s CBD, river paths and historic bridges.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King attended the event, opening the elite race using the same starter gun that was used by Prince William during the Avantidrome opening in 2014.

Celebrating success in the 12km category was Cambridge local Jonny McKee, finishing his first ever Round the Bridges event in 0:39:15, and as the male winner of the 12km Legends’ Race.

“I was stoked to be able to compete in my first ever Round the Bridges event,” said McKee.

“It was a pretty tough course but there was great atmosphere all the way around, with lots of people cheering us on and a great crowd to finish. I thought I put in a good solid effort and I was glad to come away with the win; hopefully I’ll be back again next year.”

He was followed by Hamilton City Hawks runners John Mering and Jai Davies-Campbell, who finished in times of 0:40:33 and 0:41:07 respectively.

Taking out the women’s category was 18 year-old Emerson Deverell, completing the course in 0:47:44. Koro Macdonald came behind her in second place, with last year’s winner Sarah Murphy claiming third.

Hamilton Boys’ High School student Sean Trowern took out the 6km Secondary School Challenge, winning the Fellows Family Trophy for the second year in a row. His time of 0:22:41, with the help of his team’s next three fastest finishers - William Swales, Jayden Gozdz and Josh Gordon - also resulted in the school once again taking home the Secondary School Team Trophy.

Year 9 St Peter’s School student Charli Miller added to her years of Round the Bridges victories, winning the female category in an incredible time of 0:23:17. This result comes off the back of months of preparation and competition success.

“I’m so excited that I’ve been able to add this to my list of achievements this season,” said Miller.

“I did a lot of training in the lead up to this event, so to see it all pay off and to be able to win on race day is a really cool feeling.”

Beating 72 other corporate teams to take out the SPARK Business Corporate Challenge was Waikato District Health Board. The team, consisting of Benjamin Moody, Andrew Soepnel, James Clark and Ahmed Hankir; finished with a combined time of 3:18:50; over three minutes faster than any other challenger.

Event organisers U Leisure Limited and Sports Waikato’s Team Energize were delighted with the record number of 2km Kids Challenge participants who turned up to take part. Over 800 primary and intermediate aged school kids completed the event’s 2km circuit, the highest number the event has attracted in its 72 year history.

Through a combination of active fundraisers and online donations, the local event has raised an incredible $36,450 for New Zealand charities. Event organisers are pleased with the efforts made by everyone so far, and are excited to watch the number grow over the days following the event.


For further information contact:

Kayla Wilson, Media Coordinator, U Leisure Limited

Ph: 07 838 4664 | Cel: 027 349 1211 | E:

6000 happy participants got to take home Round the Bridges finishers medals

Record Numbers Heading into Event Weekend!

11th November 2016

Over 6,000 participants are expected to take part in Round the Bridges, Hamilton’s most iconic fun run, this Sunday 13 November.

Online entries for the event closed overnight on Tuesday, raking in a record number of participants.

5,664 runners, walkers and wheelchair users were confirmed to take the start line; making it the highest number of online entries that the event has received in its 72 year history.

With late entries available to purchase at event weekend Registration and a forecast for fine weather, event organisers U Leisure Limited are optimistic that 2016 participation numbers will exceed the 6,000 mark.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the number of participants that have already committed to taking part in Round the Bridges this Sunday,” says Event Manager, Amanda Till.

“At every stage of the buildup, participant numbers have exceeded that of previous years and we’re hoping to see that trend continue throughout event weekend. We’re still a couple of hundred entries off the current record but we usually get a mad rush of people wanting to enter on the day so we’ll see what the weekend brings.”

The current overall participation record is 6,186 and was achieved during the event’s 70th anniversary year in 2014.

As part of the overall event package, Round the Bridges participants will receive an official race number and timing chip, on-course and post-event entertainment, post-event refreshments, and a special finisher’s medal which was designed by an 11 year-old Hillcrest Normal School student.

All participants will also be eligible to win a range of great spot prizes which will be handed out at random at the finish line.

Entries are available to purchase during event weekend registration but late fees now apply.

Spaces in the 2km Kids Challenge are limited.

Round the Bridges fun run expecting record numbers this Sunday 2

Round the Bridges Finisher’s Medals Are Here!

4th November 2016

After weeks of anticipation, the 2016 Round the Bridges finisher’s medals have finally arrived in Hamilton, just in time for the event on Sunday 13 November.

First to get a sneak peak of the medals was 11 year-old Alex Dickson, the winner of the Round the Bridges Medal Design Competition which was held in August earlier this year.

“I’m so happy with the end result,” said Alex.

“The first thing I noticed when I opened up the box was how shiny they were. I think they’re amazing and they couldn’t have done a better job with bringing my creation to life.”

Equally as pleased as Alex was his twin brother Daniel, who also reaps the rewards of his brother’s medal design competition win.

As well as getting his design made into the 2016 finisher’s medal, Alex also won two free entries into the event and two official Round the Bridges ThermaTech performance t-shirts. He gifted both extra prizes to Daniel.

“I’m really proud of Alex for winning the competition,” gushed Daniel.

“There are lots of really great artists out there so he did well to take it out.”

“And I’m really lucky that I got a free entry and t-shirt too. I definitely owe him… I’ll probably get him an extra big Christmas present this year or something.”

On top of receiving one of Alex’s medals at the finish line on event day, the boys are looking forward to representing Hillcrest Normal School in the 2km Kids Challenge, and running alongside their classmates and friends.

“We’re really excited to compete in the event this year,” said Alex.

“I was meant to do the 6km event but I’ve been a little bit injured so I’ll be doing the 2km one again.”

When questioned about which twin would edge out the other in the race, both boys agreed it would probably be Daniel, but Alex didn’t seem too phased.

“Daniel will win out of the two of us but I don’t care – I won the medal competition!”

The inaugural competition challenged children aged 5-13yrs to design this year’s finisher's medal, with the winner’s design becoming the medal which would get given out to over 5,500 runners and walkers as they cross the finish line on event day.

Alex’s design features the arches of the iconic Fairfield Bridge, as well as a participant celebrating whilst running through finish line ribbon.

IMG 4385

Hamilton City Hawks Top 5 Running Tips

2nd November 2016

With Round the Bridges drawing nearer and nearer each day, we thought we’d catch up with some members from the Hamilton City Hawks running club to see if they had any handy running tips for our participants ahead of the event on Sunday 13 November.

We met up with Malesa McNearney and Jai Davies-Campbell, two young Hawks runners who are achieving great things on the New Zealand and International sporting stage. The pair shared their top 10 tips for beginner runners who’re looking to complete Round the Bridges… check them out below!

  1.  Invest in a good pair of running shoes - it’s important to wear a good quality pair that are supportive and comfortable. If you don’t, you may run the risk of suffering from blisters or injury.

  2. Set small achievable goals - there’s nothing more satisfying than smashing a new goal. Keep yourself motivated by setting small achievable goals that you can reach in the lead up to the event.

  3. Aim to run two to three times a week - it takes more than one training run to get you ready for a big event. Make sure you fit in a decent amount of trainings runs so that you’re confident and ready to go on the big day.

  4. Ease into it and aim for distance rather than time - don’t worry about your pace, just try and make the distance that you set. And don’t forget that it’s OK to take walking breaks as long as you keep moving.

  5. Make your training fun - make training interesting by organising a run or walk with friends or by picking a nice scenic place to train like along the river, around the lake or at a park.

  6. Switch it up - not every session needs to be a run! Switch it up and take part in some other cardio related activities like cycling, swimming or hiking.

  7. Drink water - keep your body hydrated by sipping on water throughout the day - especially after running. If you have scales at home, try weighing yourself before and after each training and aim to drink at least 1.5 x the weight you lost during your run.

  8. Make sure you stretch - stretching is super important before and after a hard training run. It keeps your muscles flexible and strong and helps prevent injury you may also want to invest in a foam roller… it’ll be a love / hate relationship but your muscles will thank you for it!

  9. Make sure you take rest days - the worst thing you can do is overdo it and burn yourself out or cause an injury. Make sure you give your body a break and take rest when you need it.

  10. Join a running club - a running club is a great way to meet new people and to keep yourself accountable to get out and hit the pavement. And not everyone is a competitive runner - there will always be people who run at a similar pace to you.

So there you have it - a few tips to keep in mind ahead of Round the Bridges or any other running event or training you take part in.

To check out the video we did with Malesa and Jai, visit the official event Facebook page!


Local Cancer Society raises funds through Round the Bridges

25th October 2016

The Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society hopes participants in this year’s Round the Bridges will also use the event to raise funds for the much-loved charity.

Every day 60 people in New Zealand are diagnosed with cancer. The Cancer Society provides free services and supportive care to people with cancer and their families; health promotion and education on how to reduce the risk of cancer; and support for research into the causes, detection and treatment of cancer. However, the Cancer Society receives no direct government funding so relies wholly on the generosity of the community through fundraising, donations, sponsorship and bequests, to operate.

"We are humbled and extremely grateful to the amazing individuals and groups in our communities who choose to support us," said Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society fundraising manager Catriona Findlay.

This is the second year the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society has been involved with Round the Bridges. Catriona says this year the society has set a fundraising target from the event of $5,000.

"We currently have 17 confirmed fundraisers and together as Team Cancer Society they have already raised over $2,770.

"We are thrilled with everybody's fundraising efforts so far. Partnering with Round the Bridges is an excellent opportunity for us to be part of a high profile community event and a great way for us to raise money to help Kiwis with cancer," she said.

As well as receiving support and expert advice around fundraising, participants who decided to make their run count by becoming a member of Team Cancer Society can also expect a few perks.

“To say thank you to our Round the Bridges supporters, anyone who raises $150 or more gets to enjoy wearing a dri-fit Cancer Society t-shirt at the event to recognise their involvement, and we will also be around at the end of the event to give out goody bags to congratulate them for their efforts,” said Catriona.

All funds raised by Team Cancer Society through Round the Bridges will remain in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region, directly helping people in the local community.

The Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society is an independent registered charity that operates under the broader umbrella of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

For more information or to join Team Cancer Society, click here


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