At last, after lockdown, we had our first run of the season last Saturday at Centennial Park in Te Puke.

From here, each Saturday we will be running on different farms throughout the Te Puke area and countryside, which makes it fun for the kids.

Sometimes the farmer will put on an afternoon tea, or we all bring something on a plate and I am sure some just come along for the afternoon food.

We have some adults running on a weekly basis and enjoying the challenge of the sport.

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During the cross-country season, which carries though to the end of July, many would usually have attended the Waikato/BOP cross country championships, the Tauranga Open and North Island cross country.

These are now cancelled, but there will be a visit from Tauranga Ramblers, probably at Pāpāmoa Beach, and we intend to have a visit from the Whakatāne club during June.
Children love this part of the season and then the road season starts in August and runs until the end of September.

The road season involves relays, handicaps, mystery runs and a few road runs.

At the Waikato/BOP road championships many will attend and have a go against athletes from the bigger clubs.

We recommend members are aged 8 and above and can run for at least 3km or so. Black shorts and top and light flexible shoes are recommended.

Uniforms can be purchased from the club. Shoes would be a good idea as some of the runs are on harder surfaces.

If you are purchasing shoes, go to a reputable sports retailer. Shoes should be light, flexible on the fore foot and not too cut away on the heel.

Shoes should ideally bounce from the heel when you drop it.

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Weather is not a hindrance, and wet days are part of the Harriers tradition and the kids actually rather think it is fun.

On these days, a towel and a change of clothes are recommended.

For the under 14s, fees are very reasonable and around $100 per year pays for the Waikato, Athletics NZ, Te Puke Harrier and Te Puke Athletic season.

There is also a non-competitive option at $20 for the six-month Harrier season.

In addition to Harriers we have a training programme, meeting at Litt Park at 3.45pm every week day.

Training is varied to create a strong fit and healthy individual.

One of our ladies struggled to plod for 20 minutes and can now run comfortably for an hour.

Her words are now, "and it is fun" and she is catching up to her daughter.

We have education on the physiology of the body in high-performance sport, fitness, stamina, health and much more for children and adults.

Harriers is suitable for anyone aged eight to 80 years.

It is a friendly, social club with access to competition as some of our members want to test themselves locally and nationally.

The weekly meeting point is Centennial Park, Atuaroa Ave, near the tennis courts at 2pm.

Call Jen on 0210393631 for administration enquiries or me, Selwyn, on 0272518779 for coaching and more of what we have to offer.

Or check out the Te Puke Harriers Facebook page.