When James McWatt was a boy a highlight of the year was the annual fun run from the end of Umupuia Beach to Beachlands Domain. At its peak it attracted nearly 1000 competitors when the Coast was far smaller. Fast forward 30 odd years and after conversations with PT client and Rotary President Alex Garden, the event was resurrected in November 2018.
James, now the owner of Beachlands fitness centre ALLFIT with wife Julie, sees the event as a way of improving local resources particularly in the area of mental health. "Alex, Julie and I are really keen to do something practical to help those who are struggling out there. It’s well known that fitness and being outdoors make a huge difference to everyone's wellbeing. This event will provide a fantastic way of helping the community in multiple ways."
The inaugural event in November 2018 was an unqualified success with over 380 entrants completing either the 10km or 5km distance. It also raised over $5,000 which, as this is being written in February 2019, is already being put to use to help the mental health outcomes of young people in the Pohutukawa Coast area. In 2019 we had a 44% increase in the number of entrants to nearly 550 and raised over $8000 for the local community. In 2020 COVID-19 affected the number of participants which dropped to just over 420 but another $6,000 was raised. In 2021 the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but ran again successfully in 2022 and 2023.
The Rotary ALLFIT Coastal Run is run by the Rotary Club of Pohutukawa Coast Inc. and all funds raised go directly into the Rotary Trust which administers it on behalf of the Rotary Club. The Trust makes grants to community groups and individuals from funds raised. The last group of grants was dispersed in September 2023 - check out our press release from October 2023 (Word doc).