Retrace history In the Footsteps of the Marines
By Roger Childs
The hills and valleys behind Paekakariki were an ideal war training ground for US Marines in 1942-43. During this time over 15,000 Americans lived in the three camps in the area, and not surprisingly this “friendly invasion” had a huge impact on the seaside village with its population of 600.
One of those Marines was Leon Uris and in his novel Battle Cry he recounted one of the route marches in the hills. In The Footsteps Of The Marines roughly follows his description.
The Kapiti Joggers and Walkers are organising the sixth running of this event on Sunday 28 May 2017. Last year more 220 walkers and runners participated, including several Marines and New Zealand Army personnel.
This year it will be part of the celebrations, coordinated by the Kapiti US Marines Trust, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of US Marines in New Zealand during World War Two.
A varied and scenic course
The 13.2 km course includes sealed and unsealed roads, shingle, bush and clay tracks, and farm roads. The route climbs over 300m in four stages and the high points offer spectacular views of the Kapiti Coast.
Starting at the Whareroa Farm entrance at Mackays Crossing, the course takes competitors along Emerald Glen Road, Waterfall Road, Maungakotukutuku Road and Campbell’s Mill Road.
From there it turns onto a short bush trail and runs down a zigzag track through Whareroa Farm.
More tracks and a farm road take the walkers and runners to the finish beside the Whareroa Shelter.
Walkers and runners of all abilities are welcome to enter. There are three categories:
~ Social walkers and slow joggers starting at 9am
~ Race walkers starting at 9.30am
~ Runners starting at 10am
The race is restricted to people 12 years and over, unless accompanied by an adult.
There are plenty of spot prizes and after the race competitors can enjoy a cup of hot soup, and pick up a finisher’s certificate.
The entry fee is $25 with an extra $5 for late entries on the day. Participants can post their entry or enter online at: www.enteronline.co.nz It is one of the best value for money events in the country.
Fund raising for Kapiti charities and organisations
Money raised from the entries will be given to local charities, as well as Whareroa Guardians, Kapiti US Marines Trust, Tramway Museum, Raumati Scouts, Raumati School, Wellington Free Ambulance, Kapiti Running and Tri Club.
The event is sponsored by local businesses, Pak’nSave, The Print Room and CityFitness.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
As part of the commemorations, a Memorial Day Service will be held at the Marines Memorial in Queen Elizabeth Park on Monday 29 May at 10.00 am.