When Hamilton Half Marathon teamed up with Achilles New Zealand last year, nobody expected such an enthusiastic response.
Organisers say almost 50 athletes entered through the organisation that offers people with disabilities the chance to participate alongside able-bodied athletes in mainstream events.
This year at least five Hamilton Achilles runners will be entering the half marathon again as part of their build up to New York Marathon in November.
Entries opened in January to encourage people to commit early to the October event. Those not ready for the half distance can opt for 10km or 5km – and there’s a Kids Commando Challenge obstacle race as well. Every finisher wins a medal.
All distances start and finish at Flagstaff Park, Hamilton - but for scenery, the half marathon is the race to choose. It’s largely an out-and-back course with two crossings of the attractive Waikato River and much of the route passes along the river bank, on the Te Awa trail.
Te Awa is billed as the Great New Zealand River Ride. When complete, the walk/cycleway will stretch 70km along the Waikato River, from Ngaruawahia in the north to Horahora in the south.
The Hamilton Half 10km is largely a suburban run with some stretches along the riverbank, while the 5km course also includes two river crossings.