The inaugural CHB Fast 'n' Furious Trolley Derby last year certainly lived up to its billing.

The fastest drivers among the 60 corporate and age-class entries at the derby hit top speeds of 53km/h as they hurtled down the 1.3km course on Pukeora Scenic Rd in Waipukurau.

St Andrew's Church created the event last year to raise funds for its Epic Youth Ministries and the church's ongoing mission work in northern Thailand.

Last year Epic Ministries designed and built two carts - the Pink Pig and Cartoon Capers - which they are entering again in this year's derby on October 28.


And while they had a blast, Epic Ministries youth co-ordinator Jono Craig said their failure to finish on the podium had driven his team to make modifications to the two carts in pursuit of more speed this year.

"They had beautiful brakes, but unfortunately they just weren't fast enough," he said.

"The Pink Pig was for the younger drivers because it was safe as and easy to control, and while the Cartoon Capers looked cooler, it was slower.

"It's got a solid back axle so it's like you've got the brakes on, so it's up for modification. We've got a whole new back end we need to build for it.''

Still, having good brakes for the longest gravity race in Hawke's Bay, and possibly the North Island, wasn't a bad thing, he said.

"In the end, it's all about stopping," he grinned.

Mr Craig said the amount of work leading into last year's event proved to be almost as much fun as the race day itself, and he encouraged people to "give it a go".

"We had a lot of fun designing, building and testing the trolleys before the big day. It's a great day for spectators too, with plenty of action and high-energy competition."

This year's trolley derby will again feature age-group classes for drivers between seven and 11 years of age, 12 to 15 year olds, drivers over 16, as well as the corporate trolley section.

Last year a team of volunteers, including members of the Waipukurau MenzShed, built more than 20 corporate trolleys. They are again available for lease.

Organiser Kevin Davidson said last week there were still about six corporate trolleys available for the race, and there was still plenty of time for them to be painted in corporate colours.

But with entries rolling in, he said businesses should enter sooner rather than later.

"We can only accommodate 100 carts on the day [and] the entries are starting to roll in now" he said.
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More Spring Fling

Next month's trolley derby is one of the official events in this year's CHB Spring Fling, which continued on the weekend with a big turnout for Sunday's Hatuma Lime Half Marathon where a number of records tumbled.

A record field of 401 competitors ran or walked the 21.1km or 10km circuit, either as individuals or as part of three-person teams, while the men's and women's long-standing course records for the half-marathon were also well and truly dashed on Sunday.

Hastings triathlete Karen Toulmin successfully defended her women's half-marathon title in style in a time of 1:23:19, breaking Rebecca Mackie's previous record of 1:23:55, which had stood since 1996.

Meanwhile the winner of the men's event, 2016 New Zealand Marathon champion Nick Horspool from Wellington, also set a record time.

Using the event as a tune-up for the Melbourne Marathon in October, Horspool's time of 1:08:52 was 20 seconds faster than the previous mark of 1:09:14 set by Phil Costly in 2000.