Updated – 9 July 2018
At the end of October, thousands of people will get to do something in Auckland that only happens once a year. They will run, or in some cases walk across the Auckland Harbour Bridge!
For 364 days of the year, the Auckland Harbour Bridge is only open to traffic with no bikes or pedestrians permitted. The exception to this is the day of the Auckland Marathon where for a few hours the bridge closes to traffic to allow thousands of competing athletes to cross over the waters of the Hauraki Gulf in what is a truly spectacular sight.
The ASB Auckland Marathon 2018
Whilst the ASB Auckland Marathon may not be up there with the likes of London and New York when it comes to world famous marathons, it has grown to become New Zealand’s largest running celebration event attracting individuals young and old, from all walks of life.
Many Aucklanders, and those from all around New Zealand will begin their training months in advance to be ready in time for the Sunday 28 October run. Each year, more and more people take part and proudly wear their motivation medals and free caps long after.
Organisers this year have no doubt the Auckland Marathon 2018 will be the best yet which means there’ll be a great carnival like atmosphere to enjoy.
More than just a marathon
Whilst the event is dubbed as the ASB Auckland Marathon, there are in fact five events you can get involved in depending on your levels of fitness, and three of these (including the Marathon itself) will present you with the chance to run over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
In addition to the marathon, there is also the Barfoot and Thompson Auckland Half Marathon (everything needs a sponsor these days!!) and the John West (yep, the tuna man) Traverse – a 12km run from Smales Farm into the City.
The Auckland Marathon route
If you are taking part in this year’s Auckland Marathon, you’re in for an early start! The race starts over the water in Devonport where runners will be transported by ferry which will be leaving regularly from 4:20am for a 6:00am start.
This is also the starting point for the Half Marathon runners who will start a little later at 6:50am. From here, the route will take you north towards Takapuna before you cut back and head towards the Harbour Bridge. Make sure you don’t go out too fast – whilst the Harbour Bridge seems a doddle in a car or on the bus, it’s surprising how steep the bridge is until you have to run up it!
After crossing the bridge you will then run around Auckland’s Bays on a stunning route following Tamaki Drive all the way out to St Heliers before turning back and heading the same way to the finish line in Victoria Park. The course is split into two sections; the first part before you cross the bridge is described as rolling whereas from there onwards, it’s a pretty flat course which makes it ideal for first timers.
The Half Marathon and Traverse routes follow similar routes, however with shorten turn around points and a shorter start for the Traverse.
Download the Auckland Marathon App
Whether you’re participating or spectating, the best way to keep up with all the news, track your friends and find out the results in real time is to download the official app. Included in the app are handy course maps, live athlete tracking which will help you to keep an eye on family and friends participating in the race as well as access to timing results.
Entry for the Auckland Marathon and other races
Entry for the ASB Auckland Marathon, Barfoot and Thompson Half Marathon and John West Traverse all close on Saturday 27 October so you still have time (providing you are reading this before the 27th of course!!). The races all take place the following Sunday 28 October and the streets of Auckland will be lined with spectators to watch this fantastic annual event.
This is a race like few others and is your chance to run over the famous Auckland Harbour Bridge – what are you waiting for?…get GOing!
Find out more including details of each of the races and the online entry forms on the official Auckland Marathon website.