Heatwave x After Laughter

We recently hosted our friends from Heatwave & After Laughter for an evening of rouge running, short films and real talk.

It’s a chilly, dark Wanaka evening in April, you’ve just met your friends at the food trucks for a catch up over a burrito when something flashes before your eyes.
What was that? Another one! Suddenly they are everywhere… Runners… Running around with headlights, jumping over fences, looking frantic as they all head towards one thing, a golden sticker book.

As quickly as they came, they went and you’re back alone with the crowd of burrito eaters.

What you have just witnessed is part of an Alleycat Foot race.

“The Alleycat Foot Races are a spin off of bike messenger Alley Cats. It is essentially an unsanctioned race to a series of checkpoints with no route, racers choose which way they think is quickest and then have to navigate to all of them whilst running as fast as they can. It’s just a load of chaos. Check out MonsterTrack if you’ve never heard of it before.”

Fionn from brand new Wanaka based, Multi-dimensional Outdoor Project - Heatwave.

We were lucky enough to host Heatwave for there second Alleycat foot race, where runners gathered at General Service as then sun went down and raced off with their headlights, some returning only 20 minutes later with a full sticker sheet from all the checkpoints.

“I grew up in London riding fixies from a pretty young age, it was kind of an outlet for kids in the city. So the races we put on feel like a bit of home. They’re laid back and everyone is just out for a bit of fun. I think the best part is back at the finish line where people get to yarn about falling in a creek or getting lost and running an extra 4km instead of purely how fast they ran and where they finished. It brings a different dynamic to the atmosphere of a running race.”

There’s nothing quite like a runners high, amplified by doing it with your mates, the dark crisp air and the novelty of the event, the atmosphere was electric as one by one the runners arrived back to General Service.

Our friends at Almighty provided some sparking water to refresh everyone, and we squeezed inside to catch the next part of the evening.

After Laughter is community organisation, run by our friend Tim. He has explained what it’s all about for us:

“At After Laughter, our primary focus is to challenge the stigmas surrounding mental health. Our approach involves two objectives: to empower those navigating mental health challenges by fostering openness about treatment and experiences, and to educate individuals who have not encountered mental illness directly.


Recognizing the importance of indirect outreach, we organize engaging events tailored to resonate with the interests of young people in New Zealand making sure that our events are intriguing enough to bring people down regardless if they want to hear about mental health. Whether through music, art, sports, or other activities, our events aim to spark conversations and shed light on mental health topics. These gatherings serve as platforms to normalize discussions and create a community where mental health is understood, embraced, and supported.”

Following the showing, Tim explained After Laughters newest project:

“Our latest initiative involves a little joint venture with Heatwave, organizing a dedicated run club in Wanaka, starting 6 months prior to the highly anticipated Queenstown Marathon. Our aim is to assemble a run club with many people from the town and lead to the goal of us all doing the Queenstown half and full marathon under the banner of ‘After Laughter and Heatwave’ This endeavour seeks to empower individuals, fostering a supportive environment while encouraging both physical fitness and mental well-being. We hope that around 50% of our group have also never ran a full or half-marathon before and that we can help them achieve this goal in November.”

I think I can speak for the whole crew at General Service when I say exercise is a large piece of our day to day lives, living in Wanaka we are lucky that the outdoors is so accessible to us and a quick run or ride after work is doable right from our front door.

For me the precious minutes spent outside after work are a time to process the day, whether its something I have learnt and cementing this in my brain, or figuring out something that I couldn’t figure out while I looked at my computer, all the way through to working over the different thoughts that are running through my head and helping them become less messy.

I have never regretted taking the first step out the door, I always come home feeling on top of the world.

Everyone left the night buzzing, headed home for a good dinner and dreamt about how they could have cut 15 seconds off their route.

If you want to know more about the Run Club, or keep up to date with the next race, jump over to instagram - Heatwave, After Laughter

Thanks For Coming

Love Brooke