This book traces and celebrates the growth of the Auckland jogging phenomenon, from its early beginnings to how it had an impact on running around the world.It also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Auckland Joggers Club, the first jogging club in the world.
Every day, all over the world, hundreds of thousands of people go for a jog to get fit, stay healthy or train up for an event for a fun run – or a marathon or another sporting activity.
How many people know that it all began with one determined man called Arthur Lydiard who persuaded a small group of around 30 unfit men, that going for a run would do them nothing but good.
In Auckland’s Cornwall Park on 11 February, 1962, the men, some quite old and some unable to manage more than 100 metres that day, started a movement that took off in popularity and spread throughout the world, resulting in millions of everyday people taking up running and enjoying all sorts of events.
In Auckland, the most famous of one of these runs was started Round the Bays, an annual fun run round the city’s picture-perfect harbour, which every year draws up to 80,000 men, women and children.
Lydiard knew what he was doing when he took people jogging, but he had no idea how phenomenally successful and globe-encompassing the movement would become – the world’s biggest and fastest-growing outdoor activity. He had tested his jogging theory from 1962, on a group of aging men recovering from heart attacks because they asked him what they could do to regain some level of fitness.
They shuffled from one lamp-post to the next to start with but within months were accomplished joggers and one or two went on to the marathon distance. Jogging killed none of them.