450 take Peak challenge


This year's Peak Trail Blazer featured a record number of competitors with just under 450 walkers and runners taking part in the 12.2km hike from Havelock North Primary School, up Te Mata Peak and back yesterday.

Event director Jo Throp said entrants gave organisers a few sleepless nights with only 120 signed up for the race at the start of last week, then a rush in the final days, as weather cleared.

"In the end, the morning was perfect for racing - high cloud cover, not too hot, a light breeze and no showers, unlike last year's downpours and fog," Ms Throp said.

Peak Trail Blazer competitors ranged in age from 5 to 79.

But it was 16-year-old Hastings Boys' High School student Lucas Duross who came out on top with the fastest time of one hour, one minute and 49 seconds.

After competing in a team at the Cape Challenge, Mr Duross decided to take on the peak by himself.

"It was a great day and a good track," he said.

"I hadn't ever been up on windy ridge before so it was all new to me and I really enjoyed it."

Rita Homes from Napier came in second with one hour eight minutes and 54 seconds.

New records were set on the 2.2km Tainui Trail by Mathew Aitchison from Havelock North Intermediate who ran it in 16 minutes and eight seconds. Fellow schoolmate Aishlin McIntyre was close behind with 18 minutes and two seconds.

The event was founded by Havelock North Primary School mothers Rachel Cornwall, Susie Devonshire and Jo Throp with the aim of raising funds for the school, promoting health and well-being and utilising Tainui Reserve and Te Mata Peak.

For the second year in a row, 25 per cent of all proceeds would be donated to Sumner School in Christchurch, after a sister-school relationship was formed following the devastating earthquakes.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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