Local running event the Peak Trail Blazer will turn ten this November and to celebrate the organisers have come up with an idea they hope will entice many of the event’s quickest runners to return for another shot at the Hall of Flames sub 60 and The Scorchers sub 50 minutes clubs.
Race Director Jo Throp says the event has seen some amazing runners compete over the years, some nationally recognised like Laura Nagel, Ruby Muir, Niam Macdonald and Eric Speakman, and they’d love for as many as possible to return to help celebrate ten years.
“So we came up with this idea called ‘Double or Quits’. We’ve invited back everyone who has previously made it into the Hall of Flames and The Scorchers. They’ll be given a free entry into this year’s event to try to get their name back onto those leaderboards.”
“But there’s the twist,” says Ms Throp, “If they don’t make it back onto the Sub 60 minute leaderboards they’ll then have to pay us double the entry fee.”
With the announcement made this week Ms Throp says there’s already been a lot of talk and online banter among some of the runners.
“It’s a bit of fun, it’s a celebration of this cool little event we started ten years ago with no idea it would last this long, and it’s also a bit of a no brainer because even if they have to pay double the entry fee, which will be $50, it will all be donated to our recipient organisations. We don’t think too many people will really mind if they have to help us out in that way!”
Ms Throp says that over the ten years the event has been running they have had over one hundred entries into the Hall of Flames and The Scorchers. “Even if only a fraction of those runners return, there’ll still be some fantastic racing come event day in November.”
Once dubbed “the little event with a big heart” by online running magazine Running Plus, the event has seen more than 6000 people participate on the 12.8km Te Mata Peak and 3.5km Tainui trails over the years, and has also raised over $160,000 for the community.
Every year the event donates 60% of the funds raised to Havelock North Primary and the remaining 40% split between two community groups. This year’s recipients are the local food rescue organisation, Nourished for Nil, and Eye Care for Africa which will use the money to further fund a scholarship enabling a student from Havelock North High School to travel to Africa to see the work done in orphanages by Hawke’s Bay optometrist, Niall McCormack.
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.
Not just for fast runners, the event prides itself in catering for all ages and fitness levels with two course lengths and a walking division as well. Entries for the shorter 3.5km Tainui Trail are now capped at 350 and have sold out prior to the event for the past two years. Last year saw a total of 720 people competing over the two courses.
Ms Throp says the event would not be possible without the great support of sponsors, many have been with the Peak Trail Blazer since the beginning.
This year’s sponsors are; Gold sponsors – Te Awanga Estate (10 years support), Hawke’s Bay Orthodontics (10 years support), Specsavers Hastings (10 years support), Hawthorne Coffee (10 years support), Bramwell Bate Lawyers (8 years support), Peak Fitness & Health (4 years support), Dentiq Dental (new) and Hilton Brown Swimming Havelock North (new). Silver Sponsors - MR Labels & Print (10 years support), Real World (8 years support), Napier Shoe Clinic (10 years support), Simon Cartwright Photography (5 years support), ANKH Photography (5 years support) and Flight Centre Havelock North (2 years support).
Entries for the 24 November event are open now with full details found at www.peaktrailblazer.co.nz