More than just a walk or run­ning

Napier Courier - - News - BY BRENDA VOWDEN brenda.vowden@hbto­

If you like run­ning, you like walk­ing and you also like so­cial­is­ing, Run Walk HB might be the per­fect club.

Run Walk HB has two branches — one based in Have­lock North and one in Napier. While each branch meets sep­a­rately, they have com­bined events ev­ery six weeks or so, says club cap­tain, Joff Hul­bert.

“For ex­am­ple, last week we all met un­der the Clive bridge and en­joyed the wet­land and walk­way along the Clive River,” he says.

The Napier club, which meets on Wed­nes­days at 6pm and Sun­days at 8.30am, has been go­ing since 1979 and has around 120 mem­bers. Joff says they have an older age pro­file than the tra­di­tional har­rier clubs, which of­ten have a lot of chil­dren.

“We also tend to be more recre­ational and so­cial fo­cused. Of our mem­ber­ship, only about 10 reg­u­larly com­pete in events, both lo­cally and na­tion­ally.”

The Napier club meets twice weekly on Wed­nes­day nights and Sun­day morn­ings — in win­ter at the HB Lawn Ten­nis and Squash Club at Marewa, in sum­mer and on Sun­days at Napier City Rovers Clu­b­rooms at Park Is­land. The Have­lock North meet­ings are at the Pav­il­ion in the Do­main. Dur­ing meet­ings there is a pre­lim­i­nary no­tice ses­sion about what’s hap­pen­ing, fol­lowed by an hour’s run or walk in var­i­ous groups, Joff says.

“The groups are struc­tured in terms of fit­ness and pref­er­ence, for ex­am­ple I want to run or walk with my friends. We en­sure no one is on their own. Af­ter the run or walk we then so­cialise for an hour or so.”

Mem­bers range from their mid 30s to 80-plus, with the bulk of the mem­ber­ship be­ing 50-plus, and slightly more fe­male than male mem­bers. Joff says mem­bers should ideally be able to run or walk an hour.

“We cater for var­i­ous fit­ness lev­els via our groups. We do hold learn to run classes gen­er­ally once a year. For those classes the fit­ness lev­els might be low to start with but they cer­tainly in­crease weekly.”

He cites com­pan­ion­ship, keep­ing fit in a friendly non threat­en­ing en­vi­ron­ment and fun as the main rea­son peo­ple join Run Walk HB.

The group lead­ers tend to set the course as they go, with the aim of re­turn­ing in an hour.

“In Napier over win­ter it can be over the hills or a flat walk around town or the port or a com­bi­na­tion of flat and hill.

“In sum­mer and Sun­days it’s around Taradale, Po­raiti, Park Is­land walkways. In Have­lock North it can be through the won­der­ful re­serves in­clud­ing the Peak or around the streets.”

Joff says the club is more recre­ational fo­cused than com­pet­i­tive.

“This has been a change over time. In our ear­lier days most of our mem­ber­ship ac­tively com­peted. How­ever, later this year we will be en­cour­ag­ing our mem­bers to en­ter the Napier Har­rier Club Arthur Lord re­lay to be held at the end of Septem­ber. We are also look­ing into the club trav­el­ling to Levin next April for an event there.”

Run Walk HB is cer­tainly not all walk and no play. They re­cently had a trip to the Plan­e­tar­ium, an evening din­ner out and are plan­ning their an­nual Fa­ther’s Day break­fast for next month.

“We are a bunch of peo­ple who care for each other en­joy hav­ing fun while get­ting fit and main­tain­ing our fit­ness.”

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