Patience is the key to enjoying race day

ACC is partnering with Round the Bays to support participation and encourage everyone to ‘Have a hmmm’ to avoid injury while running.

It’s one of the best days on the running calendar – the day when Auckland comes out to run together – and the experts are urging people to stay patient to enjoy the experience.

The Round the Bays is a day that sees tens of thousands of people from all walks of life come together to run and walk the picturesque 8.4km course on Auckland’s Eastern Bays.

David Cooper, Lead Physiotherapist at Kinetics Rehab, says the Round the Bays is a great event to be part of.

“It’s pretty unique in the fact you are running with thousands of people and there are runners and walkers of a whole range of abilities,” he says.

“It’s cool seeing all of those people come together and look to achieve their own goal for the event.”

During his prime years as a runner, Cooper focused on 10km road racing. He worked his way up to around the top 15 in the country over a 10km distance, so he knows this distance well.

Cooper’s personal best for 10km is 31.05 and his best outing in the Round the Bays was a fifth-place finish where he ran 8.4km in 26.50.   

“For the elite level runners, the Round the Bays presents a great opportunity to run a fast time,” he says. “It’s a nice distance at 8.4km and a pretty flat course to complete it as fast as you can.

“For others the Round the Bays might be a good training run for those getting ready to do a half marathon or full marathon in 2024.

“And for many people, completing the distance will be a huge achievement in its own right and one that should be celebrated.”

David Cooper says: “Chasing that great result is an addiction. The feeling crossing that finish line is incredible, knowing all that hard work has paid off to achieve your goal.”

People can complete the Round the Bays whether you are in Aotearoa or anywhere around the world.

Round the Bays Virtual can be done anywhere between March 3 and March 10, as long as it is completed in one session. The virtual app tracks your distance as if you are taking part along Tamaki Drive.

Cooper says the most common advice he offers to people who are taking on Round the Bays for the first time or getting back into running is to be patient.

“The health research is clear that a rapid increase in training load causes problems.

“They go from the couch life to pounding the pavement and that’s usually when people end up in our consult rooms because of injury. So the biggest advice is to be patient.”

In 2022 ACC accepted 11,726 running-related injuries which came at a cost of $9.8 million to help people recover.

Males are slightly more likely to experience a running related injury (6059) compared to females (5667)

The leading age group for running related injuries in 2022 was the 40 -44 age group.

ACC injury prevention leader James Whitaker says Round the Bays is a special day for the whole whānau but people need to be prepared so they can stay injury free.

“We know that running is great for your health and offers so many benefits, both physical and mental,” says Whitaker.

“We encourage all New Zealanders to stay fit by running or walking regularly, but always remember to ‘Have a hmmm’ to avoid injury so you can keep doing the things you love.” 

The Round the Bays is known as the day that Auckland comes out to run.

Whitaker says good things to check before running an event like Round the Bays include are you warming up and cooling down properly every time you train, wearing appropriate and properly fitting footwear, are you train on the surface you’ll be racing on, and taking rest days while training so your body can recover and be at its best.

ACC data shows that around 90 percent of injuries are soft tissue injuries and Cooper says that is consistent with what they see in their physio clinic.

They see a lot of Achilles tendon problems, kneecap (patella) pain, IT band issues and hip tendon problems. More serious injuries occur if the bone is affected, resulting in stress injuries or stress fractures.

Cooper says whatever level you are running at, it is good to have realistic expectations for race day.

“I’ve raced at a decent level for over two decades and I can honestly count on one hand the number of races that have gone perfectly,” he says.

“I’m a firm believer that you should have that audacious goal, but I’ve taken the approach that, in every race, there might be a great result, acceptable result or a lesson.

“Chasing that great result is an addiction. The feeling crossing that finish line is incredible, knowing all that hard work has paid off to achieve your goal.”

The Round the Bays attracts runners and walkers of all abilities.

Running injuries by the numbers

  • In 2022 ACC accepted 11,726 running-related injuries which came at a cost of $9.8 million to help people recover.
  • Males are slightly more likely to experience a running related injury (6059) compared to females (5667)
  • The leading age group for running related injuries in 2022 was the 40 -44 age group.

Round the Bays

  • The Round the Bays is New Zealand’s largest fun run.
  • When: Sunday 3 March.
  • Where: It starts on Quay Street in Auckland City and finishes at St Heliers.
  • Distance: 8.4km
  • For more information visit: https://www.roundthebays.co.nz

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