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Going local at Aitutaki Marathon

Saturday 27 March 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in League, Sports

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Going local at Aitutaki Marathon
Visiting Rarotonga runners including BSP country manager David Street who is the solo 42km runner in this year’s event. SUPPLIED/21032650

By the time you’ve had your maroro breakfast and coffee this Saturday morning – Aitutaki marathon runners will have crossed the finish line and be celebrating lagoon side.

Twenty-six runners and walkers were registered to set out across the island of Aitutaki early this morning challenging their fitness across the short 10km course, half marathon 21km race and the main 42km marathon.

Despite being the only runner registered in the gruelling 42km marathon, Bank South Pacific country manager David Street had no intentions of taking it easy.

Undaunted, his main opponent is the clock as he set his goal to better his previous Aitutaki Marathon time set at the 2019 marathon where he placed 2nd overall with a time of 4:33:55.

No stranger to pounding the pavement, Street was the ‘local only’ 2020 Round Rarotonga Road Race winner and looks set to be the second local resident to win the Aitutaki Marathon.

At the inaugural event in 2018, top triathlete Kelly Pick was the first winner of the event which was won in 2019 by Australian Stuart Price.

Street was scheduled to set out on his 42km challenge at 5.30 this morning followed by six runners and walkers in the 21km course at 6.30am and 18 competitors in the 10km course to set off the start line at 7.30am. Among the starters are speedsters from Rarotonga and Aitutaki including Fiji trained runners and staff of Pacific Resort.

Members of the Func Fit and Body Combat fitness groups which have taken off on the island of Aitutaki were also on the start line to showcase their new healthy lifestyles.

The fitness group members were out in force at last night’s 5km community fun run on the Aitutaki airport runway as part of the Aitutaki Marathon week of events.

Close to 100 people both adults and small children took part in the community event with gold coin donation funds raised going towards junior athletics development on Aitutaki.

It was an opportunity for Aitutaki runners to check out the visiting Rarotonga competition and set their plan of attack for the early morning run.

There was light teasing among the mama and papa participants at the fun run who egged each other on to join the 42km race and give David Street a run and win a prize even if it took them all day to complete the course!

Aitutaki Marathon event organisers from Turama Pacific Travel Group’s Destination Management Cook Islands (DMCK) team are proud to be able to roll out the 2021 Aitutaki Marathon considering the challenges caused by the global pandemic that saw the 2020 event cancelled with over 60 international runners unable to live out their Pursuit in Paradise dream.

However, with generous on-going local sponsorship support from Bank South Pacific, Cook Islands Tourism, Vodafone and the Aitutaki Toa Moana Outrigger club as well as the overwhelming support from the local community – the 2021 event will showcase the tenacity of the Cook Islands people in these trying times and show the world we are, once Covid is brought under control, ready to welcome them back to play in paradise. 

            - Best foot forward