Trail run aims to do good

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

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.peak­trail­

All geared up for this year’s Peak Trail­blazer are (from left) Ellen Wagstaff, An­nie Wagstaff, Cam Wagstaff and Sophia Mor­ris.

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