News | 6 December 2023
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More than a run

Since moving to Pōneke over 13 years ago, Ben Edusei has been able to make the city feel like home through creating a supportive running community.

Group of people running on the Wellington waterfront.

As part of the Te Whai Oranga Open Space and Recreation strategy, Wellington City Council has been looking into how people use recreational space within the city and how they find their happy places in Pōneke.

For Ben, he is in his happy place when he is running along the waterfront.
When Ben first moved to Wellington from the UK he found it hard to connect to others and wanted a way to meet new people. He decided to take matters into his own hands by using his love of running to create his own community, which he called Zone Blue.  

“Zone Blue was created at a time when I was struggling. When I first moved here, it was hard to connect with others and break into social circles. By building a community for others, it has also helped me gain connection and makes Wellington feel like home.” 

Group of people warming up to go on a run by the beach.

Ben believes the connections you can make from running is the most important part.

“I love running, and I wanted it to help other people and learn more from them. Meeting people who are different to you is so important, and as we get older, we tend to stick to our groups but there are so many more people around. It’s good to be exposed to people who have different beliefs, points of view, or just a fresh way of thinking.” 

Over the past three years, Ben and the Zone Blue community have raised over $60,000 for Movember’s annual fundraising campaign.

"We take part annually to help change the face of men’s health, raising funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer." 

Ben loves discovering new spots to run around the city but says the Wellington Waterfront is one of his favourites. 

“I love running along the waterfront, there is something so tranquil about running beside the water. I like discovering new places as well, I like a little adventure. This wonderful city is full of trails, you can get lost on them for hours.” 

People running around Point Jerningham.

His advice for anyone looking to get into running is to keep it simple. 

“The moment you run, you are a runner no matter your shape, your size, or how you run. Once you start, you're hooked. You don’t need the latest gadgets or fanciest gear. Have a basic plan but keep it simple, and keep it consistent."

If you are interested in joining Zone Blue, visit the group's Instagram page.