• School set to take part in Peak Trail Blazer

School set to take part in Peak Trail Blazer

Hawke's Bay's longstanding running event, The Peak Trail Blazer will see almost an entire school take part when the pistol sounds on Sunday. 

More than 70 students, parents and grandparents from Tikokino School, in Central Hawke’s Bay, will tackle the 12.8km Te Mata Peak and 3.5km Tainui Trails.

Principal Hamish Natusch says participating in the Te Mata Peak Trail Blazer is a win-win situation for his students.

“It’s not only a great physical and mental challenge but hopefully it inspires students to keep doing events like this and challenge themselves in all areas of life.”

Natusch says most students are excited, but there are some nerves in the seniors who are competing in the 12.8km run.

“I'm really excited to have over 70 students, siblings, parents and grandparents participating in the different events, for a school of 50 it's a great effort. Every year we aim to enter one big event as a school and school community.”

The Peak Trail Blazer, is a fundraising event which has raised over $180,000 for the community and seen thousands run the Te Mata Peak and Tainui Trails.

However, with Covid-19, the event risked being shut down, until a group of keen runners and Havelock North Primary School Mums took on the challenge.

Peak Trail Blazer Race Director and passionate runner, Catherine Wedd says that despite a challenging year for events, entries for the Peak Trail Blazer are exceeding expectation and they could get a record number of entries this year.

“There is a real appetite out there for running events and we have had a huge amount of entries in this final week. I think in these uncertain times people are leaving their entries until the last minute, which makes it a little more stressful and challenging for event organisers.”

Wedd says she was thrilled when Hamish got in touch last week and said he was going to bring his entire school up to run the event.

“It’s great to see this strong community spirit from Tikokino School and I can’t wait to see the kids out there on Sunday tackling Te Mata Peak with their families.

Peak Trail Blazer Race Director Catherine Wedd at the top of Te Mata Peak.

The event donates 60 per cent of the funds raised to Havelock North Primary and the remaining 40 per cent split between two community charities.

This year some of the funds raised will go towards Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawke’s Bay and Te Oranga Pumanawa, both charities which provide life-changing opportunities to youth.

“It’s been a challenging year for a lot of charities and fundraising has been a lot harder, so we’re pleased to be able to raise money for our local school and these amazing charities,” Wedd says.

Te Oranga Pumanawa focuses on changing the lives of youth in Maraenui and giving them educational opportunities. The money raised from the event will be used to buy new equipment for a gym they are creating.

Te Oranga Pumanawa’s Waitiria Greeks says “Physical exercise is an important part of our personal development programme and having new gym equipment will have a really positive impact for us.”

The Peak Trail Blazer now attracts some of New Zealand’s best runners as they attempt to get into the sub60 minute Hall of Flames and sub50 minute Scorchers club.

The top athletes also hotly contest the $500 cash for the fastest dash, which is awarded to the King and Queen of the Peak and there is over $3000 cash prizes up for grabs as well as $7000 spot prizes and new finisher medals for all participants.

The event will be held this Sunday, November 22. To enter visit www.peaktrailblazer.co.nz