Runners answer the dawn call

Out of the mist – runners enjoyed the opportunity to run the length of Hamilton’s runway. Photo: Roy Pilott

A record turnout, and a record time.

Rotary’s annual run Run the Runway fundraiser was tagged a “brilliant’ success on Sunday morning as Hamilton Airport hosted hundreds of runners and walkers.

They raised $10,000 which Rotary will donate to the Orange Sky organisation.

It was the second such event in five months – last year’s run was postponed from March to November because of Covid, and it was notably darker this time round.

The event brings together Rotarians from Hamilton, Waipā and Piako and last weekend’s success prompted organiser Mike Cahill to set a target of getting 500 people along next year.

A total of 420 competed this time.

Matangi’s Paul Johnson blitzed the field in a time of 17m 5s to set a new record.

Johnson got back into running after returning home after 15 years in Northern Ireland and said his dad Alf was a Rotarian –“and a better runner than me”.

First boy and girl home prizes went to Benjamin Devcich and Anna Phillips.

Orange Sky launched its fifth New Zealand service in Hamilton at the end of last year – it provides washing facilities for people and clothes. Jude Bartram, who was at the weekend event and also took part in it, said Orange Sky relies on volunteers and runs 10 shifts with four on each time.

The Orange Sky mobile laundry and shower bus, topped with solar panels, is seen where service providers are operating – such as at Innes Common in Hamilton on a Friday.

Bartram said it was not only the homeless who benefitted from the service.

There were many instances where people living in over crowded homes did not have access to showers and washing facilities.

Orange Sky has taken its Hamilton service to Port Waikato and Raglan – following the damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle – since launching.

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