The running shoes will stay parked away for a few months yet but interest in two big peak events in Hawke's Bay is already speeding up.

The MCL Construction Triple Peaks, which is in its 32nd year and drew 720 competitors last time out, is set to see the starter's flag fall on March 7 next year; while the Peak Trail Blazer, now in its 10th year, will kick off in just over two months time on November 24.

Both events will have unique new features built into them.

The event crew behind November's Peak Trail Blazer have introduced a new angle this year which they hope will entice many of its most competitive runners to return for another shot at the Hall of Flames sub-60 and The Scorchers sub-50 minutes clubs.


Race director Jo Throp said the event had seen some "amazing runners" compete through the years — some nationally recognised like Laura Nagel, Ruby Muir, Niam Macdonald and Eric Speakman — and they wanted as many as possible to return to help celebrate 10 years.

"So we came up with this idea called Double or Quits," she said.

"We've invited back everyone who has previously made it into the Hall of Flames and The Scorchers and they'll be given a free entry into this year's event to try to get their name back onto those leaderboards."

But she said there was a twist.

"If they don't make it back onto the sub-60 minute leaderboard they'll then have to pay us double the entry fee."

She said there had already been a lot of talk and online banter among some of the runners.

"It's a bit of fun [and] it's a celebration of this cool little event we started 10 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."


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 more than $160,000 for the community.

Every year the event donates 60 per cent of the funds raised to Havelock North Primary and the remaining 40 per cent 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.

Entry information and details are on

While it is still six months away, the organisers of the Triple Peaks are already at work planning it out. Event co-director Emma Buttle said this also gave competitors plenty of build-up time to train for it.

While the competitors have their targets to aim for, the event organisers are aiming to get some future planting done — from the fundraising side.


"For 2020, we are firmly focused on raising funds to purchase at least 1000 native trees for Te Mata Park, Buttle said.

"Entrants can choose from manuka, kowhai, rewarewa, ngaio or totara and these will go in the ground during next planting season."

She is delighted the proceeds are going to Te Mata Park, and added that over the past two years they had fundraised $26,067 from the Triple Peaks event, which has been described as challenging, rugged and intensely rewarding.

It covers 55km of private land as well as Te Mata Peak and finishes at Havelock North Village Green.

"Triple Peaks encompasses everything that we love about Hawke's Bay, with breath-taking views and fantastic tough terrain.''

She said the organisers were working hard to attract elite athletes aiming to "bring home the bacon".


"We are delighted to announce that there will be $7000 in prize money," Buttle said, adding the event had drawn in four new sponsors in Firth Concrete, Strata Group, Lattey Group and Patton Engineering.

This year there will be some course changes and to attract more teenage competitors they have lowered entry fees for school teams.

For more information and to register, visit