The Auckland Grammar School Distance Squad is a dedicated team of long-distance runners. They operate at a social and competitive level with weekly training runs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for all runners, with weekend runs and trips across the country to participate in cross country and road race events.
The squad runs all year round, competing in cross country from the start of the year and culminating in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships (around mid-June), and on the road in summer competing at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships in the road race event in early December.
There is a great camaraderie within the squad, with juniors finding it a good way to integrate into the School and to be part of a group where the seniors and juniors mix well.
It is also an excellent way to supplement fitness training for other sports in a group environment. Many of our members have excelled in other sports off a base of solid training with the Distance Squad. Over the years the Distance Squad has won several individual and team medals at various regional and national events.
Training for the Auckland Kids Marathon at just nine years old, 2022 Captain of the Distance Squad Jesse Park has been running ever since, and he is fortunate enough to train with Old Boys who were in the squad when he was a junior. Jesse spoke to Headmaster’s Heritage Committee member Mark Galloway about the masters in charge who are there to support and guide them – watch the full interview below.
Terms played: All year round
Game days: Varies throughout the year; boys will be informed
Training days: Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7am, and some weekends
Costs: Varies depending on where events are being held
Equipment: Students can wear their own running gear
Other information: The main events include Auckland Cross Country and Road Race, National Cross Country and Road Race, traditional fixture against New Plymouth Boys’ High School (vying for the John Mildenhall Trophy). This programme runs throughout the year and does not encroach on other sporting activities.
The Master in Charge of the Distance Squad is Mr Bidet. Students are able to speak to him in the French department during the School day or contact him via email.
The Distance Squad after a training run up Mount Saint John
The Distance Squad on top of Mount Eden
The Distance Squad at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Road Race Nationals in 2020