Count­down on for an­nual Tower Run

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

The count­down is on un­til the 40th an­nual Tower Run takes place.

For the past few weeks tro­phies have been re­turned, reg­is­tra­tions have started and if you haven’t regis­tered, Sport Waikato area co-or­di­na­tor Lou Beer says, don’t wait till the 11th hour.

‘‘I imag­ine we will ex­ceed 400 run­ners so please do not leave your en­try un­til ar­rival at the start line or you risk miss­ing out,’’ she said.

The Tower Run is held this Fri­day, March 3.

To mark the mile­stone an­niver­sary, one of the orig­i­nal tower run­ners, Tony Richards, will be re­turn­ing to start the race.

‘‘It’s bril­liant hav­ing Tony, it makes it a very spe­cial oc­ca­sion,’’ said Beer.

The Tower Run was started in 1977, by Richards, along with Brian Black and Colin Thompson. Richards and Black, nick­named the Ter­ri­ers, made a bet with Thompson that to­gether, they could beat him out to the tower and back.

Thompson was known as the King of the Tower, as he would run the route every day. He re­tained his ti­tle, com­ing first of the three, fol­lowed closely by Richards and then Black.

This was wit­nessed by the whole town who lined ths streets from the cen­tre of Mata­mata to the tower. Sub­se­quently the an­nual Tower Run was born and every year tro­phies are awarded for the king and queen of the tower, among oth­ers.

This year, 40th an­niver­sary medals will be given out.

‘‘The medals are a re­ally lovely way to mark this oc­ca­sion,’’ said Beer.

‘‘Very few events last this long and it is tes­ta­ment to the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of the vol­un­teers in­volved that have seen this event be­come world fa­mous in Mata­mata. I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to this event as I do each year.’’

Beer said she hopes peo­ple will get into the spe­cial an­niver­sary by dress­ing in theme.

The race will start from Tom Grant Drive at the end of Karaka Street at 6pm for the first wave.

Par­tic­i­pants can choose to run or walk the 6.6km or 4km route. Strollers and wheel­chairs are wel­come.

Dogs, bikes and scoot­ers are not per­mit­ted due to health and safety rea­sons. Peo­ple can reg­is­ter at the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle dur­ing of­fice hours 8.30-4pm mon­day-Fri­day, $10 per adult, and $5 for ju­niors.

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