Run backs quake too
It was The Health Club team who caught spectators’ attention as they walked the roads spruced up in red and black – supporting both the Matamata Chronicle Tower Run and those affected in the Christchurch earthquake.
More than 400 locals turned up to brave the rain and the mud last Friday and, although the rain stayed steady throughout, it did little to deter spirits.
Children, teenagers, adults and seniors all put on their running shoes, added a rain jacket and a hat and made the most of the evening.
The race that started at 6pm started at Tom Grant Drive, headed up Tower Rd and looped back to finish at the Matamata Swifts AFC headquarters.
Whether contestants were running or walking, a smile lit up their faces as they crossed the finish line – a big achievement for many. Everyone was categorised by age, gender, walkers, runners or groups.
Wayne Guest was the first to run down the final leg of the race and finished with an outstanding time of 21.57 minutes. Sarah Morgan was close to follow for the adult female runners in 26.12 minutes.
One race participant who stood out from the rest for his dedication was Dawson Bruce. The 85-year-old paced his way around the course with a troubled hip and limited sight. But even Mr Dawson kept the smile on his face. He joined the tower run to raise money for Christchurch calling his campaign, Walking for Christchurch, and humbly asked for donations. The money came pouring in and Mr Dawson walked the walk with confidence – looking as fit and healthy as the rest.
At the finish line, there were plenty of apples and bottled water to help replenish energy along with sausage sizzles and coffees.
Red Racers: From left, Debbie Ruck, Charwyn Bigham and Becks Martinovich from Matamata Health Club spiced up their walking gear with a bit of colour.