At the tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula lies the stunning Shakespear Regional Park, with sheltered bays, wetlands, regenerating native forest, cliffs, historic places, and a lookout with views second to none.

Andy Rodgers, Shakespear Lodge’s manager, feels lucky to live and work in the community, and is eager to share the beauty with others, both with the lucky young people who attend camp, and with the local community. Andy’s relationship with the park? It’s like a love story written in mud and pine needles. He’s a seasoned trail runner who knows every twist, turn, and tree root like the back of his hand (and trust us, he’s got some interesting stories about those tree roots). Andy loves to help his fellow runners find the best spots and hidden gems that they might not discover on their own.

Sharing his insider knowledge of the tracks and paths around the park, he created a running club for locals to join and share in the environment. Building community is what The Y believes in, and it has been a wonderful way for people to share experiences, connect and improve their physical and mental health.

Running is often perceived as a solitary endeavour, with individuals pounding the pavement alone in pursuit of personal goals. However, the Shakespear Lodge Running Club transforms this narrative, highlighting the social aspect of the sport. The Shakespear Lodge Running Club: It’s not just about miles; it’s about miles with meaning. In the collective footfalls, they find encouragement, shared passion, and mutual growth. The running club helps to build a community, fostering camaraderie, and creating space for shared triumphs. The track and trail become not only physical spaces for running but also arenas for connection.

The Y Shakespear Lodge is in the heart of the stunning Shakespear Regional Park, which offers a variety of trails for all levels of runners. Whether you prefer gentle hills, scenic views, or rugged terrain, there’s something to suit any taste and ability. Andy ensures the runs cater to individuals of various skill levels, making it accessible to beginners and seasoned runners alike. As the sun drops over the hills, runners gather—novices, seasoned marathoners, and everyone in between. Together, they chase sunrises, conquer hills, and high-five their way to personal bests. It’s camaraderie, motivation, and accountability rolled into one.

After starting in December 2023, with upcoming runs scheduled for March 28th, April 11th, May 2nd, May 9th, runners come together for a guided trail run led by Andy. After the run, Andy transforms into the Refreshment Wizard. At the camp, he conjures up a spread fit for trail-weary warriors. There’s water (because hydration is life), snacks, and bananas (because potassium is the secret to eternal trail bliss). Oh, and rumour has it, he’s working on a potion that combines all three. Stay tuned. This creates a great opportunity for mingling and building friendships amongst the runners.

Beyond the physical benefits of running, the Shakespear Lodge running club plays a pivotal role in building a community grounded in shared passion, encouragement, and mutual growth. Connection through the local community Facebook page and email helps newcomers to find the club, and current members to update each other on plans, developments and achievements. The club exemplifies the idea that the true joy of the sport is not just in reaching the finish line but in striding together along the journey.

For future run dates, get in touch with Andy and the Shakespear team - click here for details