More than just a walk or running
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.”