Tower Run set for its 40th birthday
‘‘ The tar seal Terriers are having a rest, now that we’ve seen Thompson at his best. But we are sure to be back, after running over Thompson’s Track. Well done Colin.’’
The paper stated: ‘‘Thompson had nothing more to say - he said it all with his run’’.
Following the run, community comment suggested it should become an annual event and it was soon decided that every December the whole community could participate in what would become the annual Tower Run.
Richards competed in two more Tower Run events until he moved away in 1979 to start Tony Richards Toyota, now run by his sons.
‘‘We were invited back for the 35th year. Brian Black picked me up in his helicopter from Whitianga and we flew over and presented the cups, then we flew back,’’ he said.
Sprinting ahead to present day and 40 years later, the Tower Run maintains much of it’s initial planning.
Kevin Guest, Steve Wenzlick and Lynne Counsell with support from Sport Waikato organise the event as a fundraiser for the Kaimai Runners and Matamata Athletics Club.
To mark the milestone event on March 3, special anniversary medals are being arranged.
Matamata-Piako Sport Waikato co-ordinator Lou Beer says while the route has changed a number of times over the years and the distance has varied, it has always been the simplicity and good natured competitiveness of the event that has continued to attract up to 400 entrants.
‘‘The most hotly contested categories are open men and women who compete for the King and Queen of the Tower trophies.
‘‘You should be marking your calendars with Friday 3rd March and dusting off your running shoes to join the a number of winners from previous years who we hope will accept the challenge and enter again.’’
She says the event is an ideal distance to test New Year resolutions for people planning to get active again and a great way to farewell the summer running season. Anybody new to running should contact Beer on 07880 9088 for training programmes and advice.
Stories published in the Chornicle 40 years ago showed the first Tower Run was a success. More photos of the Tower Run over the years on page 8. Lou Beer