Have you ever wanted to cross the Auckland Harbor Bridge, sans traffic? With the iconic ASB Auckland Marathon, you can. But it would be on foot, and you can take your sweet time to take in the sweet views.
ASB Auckland Marathon returns on Sunday, 29 October for another round of black and yellow fueled fun. This revered annual race is New Zealand’s premium running event and road race, drawing in crowds in the tens of thousands from around the world. It is a day when Auckland, being a renowned melting pot of cultures, puts on a colourful show of athletes and supporters from different countries – all in the celebration of sport, health and community.
Whether you’re an athlete, supporter or onlooker, there’s one place you want to get yourself to: central Auckland. Not only is the evergreen Victoria Park the site of the finish line, it’s also the perfect spot for training, celebration and that well-deserved post-race green smoothie (and by green smoothie, we really mean beer).
There’s something for everyone leading up to and on the big day. Here’s a look at what the central city can offer you.
You’re getting (or trying to get) those final high mileage weeks in. The majority of the hard work is behind you now, and if you’re racing distance for the first time – we applaud you. We also understand it’s in these last lead up weeks where you’re likely to be bored of your usual routes. We suggest you switch things up and get familiar with the last leg of your race by getting into the Viaduct and Britomart area. A loop out from Victoria Park, through the Viaduct and Britomart area and back can clock approximately 10kms - perfect for a shakeout run or a recovery run. Enjoy the sparkling blue water during the day or the sparkling citylight at night, and visualise yourself crossing that finish line at the spot where it will happen – fist held up in triumph, of course. There’s no harm in getting comfortable with those pesky headwinds either.
You can beat on the busyness of race day. But fear not – Victoria Park will become transformed into a highly organized hub on the 29 October, with designated areas for athlete recovery, food, massages and tents for bananas. You’ve probably been on the training journey with the athlete(s) you’re supporting, so it’s just a big of a day for them as it is for you. Get yourself down to the central city to understand where exactly on Fanshawe Street you would like to be to see your loved ones cross the finish line.
As for places to refuel and rest after the race, it is hard to beat the city as the provider. Your athlete will probably be starved for carbs and some quick sugar, so we suggest heading down to these spots near the finish line for a quick bite to eat (marathoners, don’t deprive yourself of a second serve):
Paneton Bakery & Cafe: eat in or takeaway, French pastry after a race is always a good idea.
The Birdcage: this iconic Franklin Road building-turned-restaurant with sunlit courtyard bar will encourage you to extend the celebrations.
Tank Juice (Victoria Street West): for quickly digested smoothies and salads to combat post-race wobbles.
Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen: a perfect spot if you want to enjoy a delicious meal and celebratory drink.
You don’t have to have family or friends racing to be part of the race festivities. Bring just yourself or a group of friends to Fanshawe Street or Quay Street and scream encouragement (this is always appreciated). Hand out lollies (even more appreciated). Chuck water over someone (appreciated only upon request). With growing international recognition, you might even catch an elite athlete or two wandering around the central city afterwards. Have your camera ready.
No matter what your involvement is, there’s something for you to enjoy at this year’s ASB Auckland Marathon. There will be infectious energy, good food and good music abound, so do yourself a favour and mark the 29 October for a trip into the heart of the city.
For more information on the ASB Auckland Marathon, see here.