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Media Release: 40 Years Running

Wellington’s iconic fun run event will celebrate its 40th year running next February – with registrations officially opening for the 2017 Cigna Round the Bays on 1 November.

With Sport Wellington seeing more than 800% growth since it took over the organisation of the event in 1999, CEO Phil Gibbons is confident the 40th event will be one of the biggest and best yet.

“We are focused on working alongside our principal sponsor Cigna New Zealand to deliver an event that allows everyone in the region to come into the city and enjoy the really fantastic experience that we recognise as Cigna Round the Bays,” says Phil.

“Once again, the event will be delivered in keeping with our vision that ‘everyone in the greater Wellington region has a life-long involvement in sport and active recreation'.”

Lance Walker, CEO Cigna New Zealand, echoes the sentiment, saying that the opportunity to encourage the wider Wellington region to get out and get active is central to its sponsorship.

“Your health is the most important thing you can protect and helping our communities maximise their health and wellbeing is a huge priority for us.

”This year Cigna is encouraging participants to #STEPITUPNZ – a campaign aimed to encourage entrants to set a goal for Cigna Round the Bays 2017 – whether it is running the 6.5km that they walked last year, participating with their kids or improving their time from last year.

Dating back to 1978, the inaugural event known as ‘The Dominion-Rotary Run for Fun’ started from the Overseas Passenger Terminal and participants made their way around the inner city harbour to the finish line at Kilbirnie Park. The first event saw high interest with the expected 4,000 participants ballooning to 5,500 runners, walkers and wheelchairs at the start line. Regional Sports Trust and current event organisers Sport Wellington saw over 13,800 participants take part in the event in 2016.

With the event originally held in October until 1980, the Evening Post reported that initial crowds of runners were made up of ‘winter whitened bodies’. One reporter went as far to say “the race was perhaps best summed up by the team entrant: White of their thighs”.

Cigna Round the Bays will be held on Sunday 19 February 2017 on Wellington’s waterfront with registrations opening at 9am on Tuesday 1 November. The event will once again feature four distance options including the 6.5km Fun Run, Mitre 10 MEGA Buggy Walk, Bluebridge 10km and the Cigna Achilles Half Marathon. Achilles New Zealand is once again the official charity of the event.

Registrations can be made online at