Participants appreciate sheltered welcome

Worthwhile cause . . . Stephen Gibson completed the 10km walk in the Surf to Stadium to raise money for the Stroke Foundation. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Participants in the Surf to Stadium run/walk event on Sunday were happy about this year’s change of direction, especially since they could escape the cold weather at the end by finishing inside Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The stadium was the finish line for the 4km and 10km events – the 4km participants also started at the stadium and did a loop, while the 10km participants made their way from Kettle Park.

Sport Otago business development and events manager Michael Smith said it was a “great day” and everyone involved seemed to enjoy themselves.

Given the cold weather, people seemed to like finishing the event in a “nice, controlled environment” at the stadium, he said.

Stepping up . . . Outram volunteer firefighters Tony Giles (left) and Mark Doherty walked the Surf to Stadium in their kit to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand on Sunday. They will take part in theSky Tower Stairs Challenge next month. PHOTOS: JESSICA WILSON

“There were lots of smiling faces and the atmosphere was pretty good down there.”

Entries were down on last year and he thought that might have been down to the date. This year’s event was in the middle of the school holidays, whereas last year’s was held in March.

“We’re hoping now that people have seen how the finish line will be and with the carnival atmosphere in the stadium we might look to grow again next year.”

There were food vendors, entertainment and stallholders in the stadium at the end of the event.

On the run . . . A group of runners make their way across Kettle Park.

People stuck around at the stadium until about noon, he said.

“We need to find a way of keeping them there for longer, which is something we will be planning for next year.

“All the people that were involved at the finish line . . . loved it.

“Everyone was really happy at that end.”

In it together . . . Walkers in the 10km Surf to Stadium event chat while they make their way across Kettle Park.

Dunedin man Stephen Gibson completed the 10km walk to raise money for the Stroke Foundation, in memory of his late mother.

She had a stroke before dying from Parkinson’s disease a few years ago. Last year, he walked to raise money for Parkinson’s New Zealand and raised about $700.

On Sunday, he “smashed” his personal best time by 20 minutes and has raised over $700 so far.

“I have done my best.

All dressed up . . . Two participants in the 10km walk make their way across Kettle Park.

“I am very proud of myself for doing it.”

It was “great” to finish at the stadium and he enjoyed the atmosphere, Mr Gibson said.

The Stroke Foundation was a worthwhile cause to raise money for, he said.

“Every step I did I thought about Mum, my special mum.

Making strides . . . Runners head towards Forsyth Barr Stadium in the early stages of the Surf to Stadium event.

“She will be very proud of me.”

To give to Mr Gibson’s cause, go to