The Direct Group Uniforms Hamilton Half Marathon is a frequently chosen goal for many athletes, from the elite distance runner to first time participants, along with families and children.
Now in its 13th year, the Direct Group Uniforms Hamilton Half Marathon offers a variety of events over varying distances, aimed at encouraging community participation.
This year features all new courses, with a distance for everyone; 5km, 10km, half marathon and Kids Commando Challenge (obstacle course).
The flatter and faster course for the half marathon takes in a section of the Te Awa river trail and the 10km course now goes through Hamilton’s newer northern suburbs.
Those participating in the 5km course can enjoy a flatter, easier course through Braithwaite Park. Buggies, strollers and prams are being welcomed into the 5km event this year.
Medals are given to every finisher in all events. Team and corporate challenges are the perfect means of team building. For those wishing for added motivation and incentive on half marathon race day, official pace runners will assist competitors in reaching their goal. Each pace runner will be wearing a special t-shirt with the goal time printed on the back. Pace runners times will be 1hr 50, 2hrs, 2hrs 10 and 2hrs 20.
To encourage the next generation of marathon runners, the Kids Commando Challenge starts with a run followed by numerous obstacles, before finishing with a short run. Two obstacle courses cater for five to eight-year-olds and for those 9 to 12 years. This event is achievable for all levels of fitness.
Everyone starts with a 1km run – then all ages: walk the plank (walk on board), caterpillar crawl (crawl under tarpaulin), sack hop, commando crawl (crawl through tunnels), flip or tumble (choice of cartwheels, forward or pencil rolls), pole twister (weave around poles), jumping Jacks (hurdles for ages 9 to 12) and tyre dash (run through tyres).
Whatever your level or participation, category entries are open now and those who have already entered are invited to participate (free of charge) in HHM training runs at Flagstaff Park (Commodore Ave) every Sunday 8am start for weekly pack training runs leading up to the half, 10km or 5km events.
Free training advice is given and free weekly generic training schedules are provided. If you are just starting or would like to start running, help is available.
For more information visit hamiltonhalfmarathon.org.nz
Not only has Dave MacCalman completed the New York Marathon, Honolulu, Auckland and Los Angeles Marathons, he is also encouraging and inspiring other people to participate locally, in his role as official ambassador of the Direct Group Uniforms Hamilton Half Marathon.
“This fantastic event is run by very good people who actively encourage disabled athletes to be involved. This is my kind of event and I’m very much looking forward to it,” he says.
Dave’s first sport was basketball, playing for Wellington in the New Zealand national league before joining the Brisbane Bullets in the Australian NBL.
He was on a basketball scholarship in California when he broke his neck diving into a shallow river. Since then he has forged a sporting career as a basketball coach, wheelchair racer and as a four-time Paralympian.
Dave captained the 1992 New Zealand Paralympic team to Barcelona and held world records for quadriplegic pentathlon, javelin and shotput. He won gold medals in the pentathlon and javelin at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.
In 2002, Dave became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to disability sport (wheelchair basketball).
He completed his first New York Marathon with Achilles NZ in 1994, finishing second in the push-rim wheelchair section. He also completed other marathons including Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Auckland. Dave now rides a clip on hand-cycle and recently rode from the French Alps to the French Riviera (600kms).
Dave works full-time as a disability sports advisor for the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and several years ago purchased the world’s first pair of robotic legs, built and invented in New Zealand.
The engine behind the event
The Direct Group Uniforms Hamilton Half Marathon (HHM) is something of an iconic event for the Waikato region.
Founding member Lyn Harris is a keen runner who decided Hamilton needed its own marathon event and set about making it happen more than a decade ago. She continues to be heavily involved as event director, and is thrilled to see it grow from strength to strength each year.
Fitness Journal has a quick catch up with Lyn:
What does your role as event director involve?
Being Superwoman! Sponsorship, marketing and promotion, volunteer management, registration and queries, contractors. Preparation is key and attention to detail. While I am the event director, the event is run by a charitable trust; Fitness Action Charitable Trust. Trustees include myself, Sue Walter, Martin Poppelwell, Tim Saunders and John Harris (all former runners) who together bring many years of running experience and organisational abilities to the event.
How did you become involved?
I am the founder of the Hamilton Half Marathon. I am a former marathon and half marathon runner and at the time most cities except Hamilton, held a half marathon event, so I decided to do something about that. I have organised the event since it was founded in 2004. I have run for 37 years and while I don’t compete any more, I continue to run most days for health and fitness.
What keeps you passionate about the HHM?
My love of running and the organising challenges it presents each year. I always enjoyed participating in events organised by others and this is my way of giving back to the sport.
List five most important things about HHM you would like people to know?
1. We have a distance for everyone – Half Marathon Run/Walk, 10km Run/Walk, 5km Fun Run/Walk and Kids Commando Challenge (an obstacle course).
2. We recognise age groups in the merit awards.
3. Every entrant receives a goodies bag and every finisher receives a medal.
4. We make a donation to the Child Cancer Foundation.
5. We support local entities, Horsham Downs School and St Mary Scouts who assist with marshalling.
What is new this year?
All events have new courses. The 5km Fun Run/Walk has been opened up this year to include baby buggies, strollers and prams. Achilles athletes will be running, wheeling, hopping, pushing or walking in the half, 10 or 5km events.