Runners have busy start to season

Members proving competitive in cross-country

Selwyn Mawkes





THARRIERS e Puke Harriers have had a very busy start to the season having completed the first two months of the 2022 season. The committee is very pleased with the season so far. Our first run was held at Centennial Park to learn some of the protocols of following markers for the season’s coming cross country courses. The second week was held at coach Selwyn’s home and the third event saw us meet at Jubilee Park for a run down to the mouth of the Waia¯ri River where it meets the Kaituna river. We are thankful to Paul and Rita Bellamy who hosted us on their farm for our fourth event, allowing us a good cross-country course. This is a favorite day with us, as there is the option of three distances to run. Our fifth week was our annual run at Lake Tarawera. Three members ran the 15km course with the rest running the 7km course. Hot Water Beach is a great finishing point, with the run followed by a return trip by boat. Another great event had us hosted by Whakata¯ne Harriers and an incredible run over a farm 460m above sea level at Manawahe. It was a great run with multiple distances for runners and walkers alike. This was followed by a fabulous afternoon tea and great company. May 21 was the first serious competition for our Harriers, the Tauranga Open. This event attracts a number of runners from around the country and is run on a great course at Waipuna Park. Te Puke Harriers were very competitive at all levels. Results: U10 girls Kaydence Martin 2nd; U12 girls Mikayla Wheeldon 8th; U14 girls Sophia Maltai-spence 1st, Grace Murgatroyd 3rd; U12 boys Cooper Hogan 3rd; U14 boys Nathan Theron 6th; U16 boys Kayden Theron 2nd. Our masters runner Rebecca Spiers was 4th in her race. The last Saturday for this report was held Henry and Maria Bydeley’s property on Te Matai Rd with a 2km marked course for runners to run as many laps as they wished. This is a traditional highlight of Harriers and we in Te Puke are managing to keep it alive. From here we have two more months of the cross-country season with several high-profile events coming up including the Waikato/ BOP, North Island and New Zealand National Cross-country championships. We are a club that encourages runners of all ages to come and have a go in the fresh air, let off a bit of steam, and have a bit of fun. Afternoon teas are shared, sometimes the farmer hosts afternoon tea and sometimes I wonder if that’s the reason why the kids come for the run. Te Puke Harriers is a very friendly club allowing for different abilities and ages to participate in any level that the member would like — even walkers. Come and have ago and check us out. ■ Phone Selwyn for more information on 0272518779, or visit www.