By Shane Roberts.

Four tips for the first time Round The Bays runner

The 8.4km distance of Round The Bays can seem daunting, especially to runners just starting out. No doubt it’s a challenge, but by following the below tips, you’ll find yourself sailing around the course with the grace of a gazelle.

Start slowly!

The excitement and pure atmosphere at the start line of Round the Bays means that when that starting horn sounds, many runners sprint off like Usain Bolt with intention of keeping up that pace for the entire distance. Of course, it’s impossible to sustain such a pace for a kilometre, let along eight. so know your limits, start slowly and gradually build to a pace your legs, lungs and heart are used to – otherwise you’re liable to end up in a crumpled heap after a K or two!

Choose decent shoes

It doesn’t matter what shirt, shorts and socks you wear – you can get away with wearing any old rags. But, your choice of footwear van be the difference between a silky-smooth ride to the finish line or a painful blisterfest for the next week. So, it pays to make a visit to one of Auckland’s dedicated running shops, who’ll measure your feet, assess your gait and get you kitted in some fancy footwear – and you don’t need to break the bank for a fresh pair, either.

Get a running buddy

With 30,000 runners expected to pound the pavements for Round the Bays, you won’t be short of company as you navigate the course. Even so, it can be worth partnering up with a running buddy to offer you support and motivation during the run; this can be invaluable for morale, especially as you reach the final parts of race. Of course, the MS Auckland team will be out in force on the course – you can’t miss us in our bright orange t-shirts, so come and say hello – you’ll find a friend in us!

Stop at the aid stations!

Dotted frequently along the course are aid stations – these are home to toilets, water, electrolytes and St John’s ambulance first aid folk themselves. It’s always worth stopping at these stations to catch your breath, have a drink and recuperate for a little while – before charging onwards to the finish.