INTRODUCTION: In New Zealand over 60,000 people set out on Auckland's annual Round the Bays run at the weekend (28 March).
GTV PAN Runners crossing starting line.
GV Runners PAN crowds of competitors following.
GV Runners with gun.
AV MASS of runners.
GV Runners with wheelchairs.
GV Runner crossing finishing line. (2 SHOTS)
GV & CUs Other runners finishing. (2 SHOTS)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT):
HARLEY: "Although the starter's gun went off at 9.30 runners had begun moving a good five or ten minutes beforehand. There were just so many contestants this year there wasn't enough room behind the official start line to contain them all. Official entries for this, the ninth Round the Bays run totalled 34,500, but as usual the spur of the moment entrants swelled the number by at least 25,000. The Bays event, probably the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world was billed as a run for fun by the organisers, the Auckland Star newspaper. However what you see here is the collective result of millions of hours of training by the contestants, many trying to better their times from previous years."
"From the air the sea of runners and spectators seemed to totally engulf several kilometres of Tamaki Drive. The count of more than 60,000 was based on stop watch checks of how long the crowd took to pass a given point."
"Just under 29 minutes after the starter's gun had set them on their way, the first runner made it to St. Heliers Bay - 25-year-old Paul Lee, an Auckland City Council recreation officer. After the fifty or so front runners had handed in their cards to get their official time, the rest started pouring in in a great tide that continued for another hour."
REPORTER: BOB HARLEY
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Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In New Zealand over 60,000 people set out on Auckland's annual Round the Bays run at the weekend (28 March). The number of competitors is thought to be a world record. But the gruelling run took its toll - one man died and dozens of others received medical treatment. Rob Harley reports.