Carter Holt Harvey To Host Half-Marathon At Woodhill Forest
Carter Holt Harvey is to host a corporate half-marathon on 11 November at Woodhill Forest, an hour's drive north-west of Kumeu.
With an estimated 2,000 runners, the "Lost World Adventure" will be the largest off-road running event ever held in New Zealand.
More than 1,000 Carter Holt Harvey staff from around the North Island will be running, with other organisations known to support health and wellbeing in the workplace participating on an invitation-only basis.
Carter Holt Harvey decided to host the event after entering increasingly large teams in public half marathons over recent years. Around 500 Carter Holt Harvey staff participated in last year's BMW Auckland half-marathon.
"This year, with 1,000 Carter Holt Harvey people running, we realised our team would be too large for a public event," said Carter Holt Harvey's Linda Sewell. "We decided to host our own off-road half-marathon and showcase one of Carter Holt Harvey's most beautiful plantation forests."
The course, at the northern end of Woodhill Forest, gives participants a unique opportunity to run through the privately-owned pine plantation and enjoy spectacular views of Muriwai and Rangitira Beaches along the way.
Ms Sewell says Carter Holt Harvey is seeing the benefits of its half-marathon programme through increased staff fitness and morale, and reduced absenteeism.
Staff in last year's half-marathon recorded an average five percent improvement in cholesterol levels, an average four kilogram weight loss and a ten percent improvement in resting heart rate. 87 percent of participants felt better or motivated as a result of completing the event.
"The basic idea is that a healthy employee is happier and more productive," says Ms Sewell. "We've also seen improvements in our workplace culture. The half-marathon is a great leveller - staff from all levels of the company train alongside each other. People from different Carter Holt Harvey businesses get to know each other better, too."
With help from Southern Cross Healthcare, Carter Holt Harvey puts its half-marathon entrants through a 16-week fitness assessment and training programme run by coaching and training specialists Performance Lab.
"The programme is a great example of how to achieve seemingly unrealistic goals," says Ms Sewell.
The Lost World Adventure is being professionally organised by The Right Angle events company, organisers of the BMW half-marathon for the past five years, for Carter Holt Harvey.
Other companies accepting the challenge from Carter Holt Harvey are: Nestle, Russell McVeagh, Fleetlease, Manukau City Council, Telecom, Mi Corporate Services, Fletcher Wood Panelling, Winstone Wallboards, Printco, Deutsche Bank and Arthur Andersen.