When you’re a native Kiwi it’s easy to take the New Zealand landscape for granted, but for the Bird family, having coastal events such as the Beach Series on their doorstep, is exactly what they emigrated to New Zealand for.
Family fitness has always been important to Sarah and John. Finding events to get the kids outdoors is a must and it’s safe to say the Bird family are big fans of the Beach Series. The family of five attended every event of the 2017-18 Beach Series season, rain, hail or shine.
Seth and Arthur, just six and nine, competed in the 2.5km run and 250m ocean swim, mum Sarah in the 1000m ocean swim and dad John in the 7km coastal run; all cheered on by young Luke in the child minding tent.
For Seth, it’s “running barefoot when the tide is in” that he really loves, but he also finds the run has improved his speed and fitness for football and rugby. Both Seth and Arthur also thrive on competition, checking their times and leader board placings every Wednesday morning at breakfast.
For John, it’s the coastal run that really highlighted the benefits of their big move to NZ. A relative newcomer to the event, John found running along the rocky coast both challenging and exciting while “crossing the estuary and carrying onto Castor Bay was a pretty unique experience.”
Sarah and Arthur carved through the waves; both receiving top three medal placings, despite only having picked up open water swimming a few years ago. Sarah credits the “sense of community of swimming with other people” for helping her swim faster, while Arthur, ever competitive, prefers to race each week against his own best time.
This coming season looks to be no different for the Bird family as they strive to make the most of North Shore’s beautiful Takapuna Beach. There will be new personal bests, new friends and no doubt even more podium finishes. We might even see 3 year old Luke join the family and take on the 2.5km kids run. What a family!