The ability to make a quick four hundred dollars cash by morning smoko should be enough to tempt some of the region's fastest runners out of bed on Sunday November 18th 2012 at the third annual Peak Trail Blazer.
Event Manager Jo Throp says they're excited to announce a first for the event with prize money on offer for the Aesthetic Dental Queen of the Peak and 1/4 Acre Wines King of the Peak, where the fastest male and female runners on the 12km Te Mata Peak trail will each win a total prize package worth over $600.
“Cold hard cash is always a good incentive and we're looking to make this an annual sprint race worthy of some pretty stiff competition. We'd like to see entries coming not only from around Hawke's Bay but also further afield as we target running clubs such as Taupo, Hamilton, Rotorua and Wellington. ”
Last year's winner Lucas Duross, who finished in a time of 1:01:50, will return to defend his title this year and to test his fitness before the Cape Challenge event the following Weekend.
“Last year's Trail Blazer was the first race I‘d ever won, and the second race I had ever entered,” said Lucas. “It gave me such a confidence boost and I have since found a real love for triathlon, joining the local Sundevils squad.”
Now training year-round, Lucas says the prize money will be an extra incentive to return to the Peak Trail Blazer - “I mean, who wouldn't be motivated by $400?!” he laughs. “I think anything to inspire people to train harder is a good thing and will lift the competition of the race. I always love good competition.”
And he may have just that if the inaugural winner Ross Morrison, one of New Zealand's top orienteers, takes up the challenge to defend his course record of a blistering 52:45. Now studying and racing in Finland, Ross will return to Hawke's Bay over summer for World Cup Orienteering races and to organise the Sprint The Bay series with his brother Duncan Morrison.
In a further addition to this year's event, those who miss out on the first three placings will still have the chance to have their name listed in the newly formed ‘Hall of Flames'. “Those managing to complete the 12km Te Mata Peak run or walk in under 60 minutes will be listed in the Hall of Flames and go down in Peak Trail Blazer history as one of the good guys!” says Jo.
The event will still cater for, and encourage, entrants from all fitness levels and ages but this is one area the organiers are keen to see grow and by offering some decent prize money they aim to do just that.
Organisers were unaware of any other Hawke's Bay off road events offering similar prize money. “This is something we have been mulling over for the last few months and thanks to two of our fantastic founding sponsors, Aesthetic Dental and 1/4 Acre Wines, it has now been made possible. Our aim is always to gradually grow and improve the event each year.”
The Peak Trail Blazer was dreamt up as a school fundraiser by three parents from Havelock North Primary, Jo Throp, Susie Devonshire and Rachel Cornwall, and last year attracted around 450 runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, taking up the challenge on either the 2km Tainui Trail or 12km Te Mata Peak trail.
This year's sponsors are; Gold sponsors Bramwell Grossman, Red Consulting Group, BWR Accountants, Hawthorne Coffee, Aesthetic Dental, HB Orthodontics, 1/4 Acre Wines, and SpecSavers Hastings. Silver Sponsors Goodpixel, B_E_E, Shoe Clinic Napier, More FM and MR Labels, and supported by Sport HB.
Full event details can be found at www.peaktrailblazer.co.nz