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NZ has announced that all trail running events in New Zealand will be accessible to all, including those that require a wheelchair, for the first time in a long time.
The government announced the change at a special meeting of the Ministry of Conservation yesterday, and is asking the public to participate.
The Run this Town initiative is part of the Government’s “New Zealand Running Plan” for the 2018/2019 financial year, which includes raising $25 million towards the creation of the New Zealand Running Path, which is part funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Run this town has been running since at least 2010 and has raised more than $12 million for charity.
In addition to the New York and New Zealand events, the NZ Running Path has also been running events at the Auckland International Marathon, Auckland’s Olympic Park, and the Auckland National Golf Course, as well as at the Royal Auckland Hospital.
The plan also calls for the NZ Run this town to run a total of 2,200km in 2018, but the number of runners has not yet been announced.
Auckland Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the decision was a “big step forward” in ensuring the city is accessible for all New Zealanders.
“New Zealand has a great trail running scene and we need more trail runners to run in our beautiful city, and we’re really looking forward to seeing everyone running in Auckland this year,” she said.
With the changes to the NZ running path, New Zealand running events will now be available to all participants, regardless of whether they are wheelchair-accessible.
This will include those that have disabilities, people with mental health issues, or people who are physically unable to run.
You can watch the full news conference here.
Watch: NZ’s running trail will open to everyone this year: http://bit.ly/1g7Y2NX