Trail run aims to do good
In its ninth year, money raised from this year’s Peak Trail Blazer run/walk on Sunday, November 18 will be put towards a school hall renovation, roller door for a food storage warehouse and a scholarship fund for a local student to travel to Africa.
It also aims to spread a strong community message among its participants.
“This year we are putting the word out there for all those involved to think about how they can ‘Do Some Good’ by printing this message front and center on the ever-popular Peak Trail Blazer t-shirts which previously sported just our logo,” says race director Jo Throp.
“Do Some Good pretty much sums up the essence of the Peak Trail Blazer. Do some good for yourself by signing up, your kids by entering them, your family by getting out in the fresh air, the community by helping us raise funds, and it’s also a good reminder to look outwards once and a while to see what can be done outside your own front door.”
Jo says the response to the t-shirts has been fantastic, with more than 300 Havelock North Primary school kids wearing this message to school each day swapping their uniform for the t-shirt for the rest of the year.
“We believe it’s a great message to spread among our kids. In fact, we’ve been jokingly dubbed the ‘Do Gooders’, which makes us laugh, but whatever works,” Jo says.
Do Some Good t-shirts and hoodies can be purchased via the website as people sign up to the event or if they simply want a t-shirt to support the message.
Once dubbed “the little event with a big heart” by online running magazine Running Plus, the event has more than 4700 people participating on the 12.8km Te Mata Peak and 3.5km Tainui trails over the years, and has also raised more than $140,000, with $100,000 going to Havelock North Primary for school hall improvements and more than $40,000 donated to the wider community.
“Every year the event donates 60 per cent to Havelock North Primary and the remaining 40 per cent to two community groups.
“This year’s recipients are the local food rescue organisation, Nourished for Nil, and Eye Care for Africa, which has set up a scholarship fund to enable a student from Havelock North High School to travel to Africa to see the work Hawke’s Bay optometrist, Niall McCormack, does in the orphanages,” Jo says.
Nourished for Nil founder and managing director, Christina McBeth, says there are distinct synergies between the Peak Trail Blazer and their group.
“We are part of an organisation that is motivated to actively engage our community members, giving them a chance to be involved and to take part in something bigger than themselves, similar to the ethos behind the Peak Trail Blazer.”
Christina says they were ‘blown away’ at the chance to be involved in the annual event.
“What an awesome privilege and a reflection of what our service means to other organisations within the community that they would want to raise funds for us.”
Past recipients have been Sumner School and Kaiapoi Borough School after the earthquakes in Christchurch, the Te Mata Park Trust, Heretaunga Women’s Centre, Heart Kids Hawke’s Bay and Hastings Giants Boxing Academy.
What started as a fundraising idea by three Havelock North Primary parents is now established on the local running calendar, attracting top runners and athletes like Laura Nagel, Ruby Muir and Eric Speakman.
“There’s so many cool aspects to this event — not only the fundraising angle, but the relatively low entry fee, all entrants wear timing chips, people can run or walk, there’s a short and a long course, and there’s the ability for people from all ages and fitness levels to take part on either trail.
“It’s a great entry-level event as well as highly competitive at the top end.”
Jo says the event would not be possible without sponsors.
Many have been with the Peak Trail Blazer since the beginning.
■ Entries are open now, with full details at www.peaktrailblazer.co.nz
All geared up for this year’s Peak Trailblazer are (from left) Ellen Wagstaff, Annie Wagstaff, Cam Wagstaff and Sophia Morris.