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Club out to harness energy


CHANGES are afoot at Gisborne Harrier Club.

Among the developments happening in the club are:

• Group fitness classes.

• Information workshops.

• Increased team travel.

• A change from Saturday to Sunday morning runs.

• The creation of high-quality events.

Members want to tap into the popularity of events such as the annual Mud Run and the summertime River Run Series.

Hundreds of people attend these events, and members have set out to harness that enthusiasm to revitalise the club.

They have made changes they hope will make the club — also known as RunGisborne — more attractive.

Their aim is to provide an experience that will be fun and appeal to people of all fitness levels and abilities.

Club president Hans van Kregten said a new feature would be a weekly group fitness class, run by Michelle Rennie, owner of The Cardio Coach.

The Tuesday evening “Sports Academy” sessions would give club members weekly cardio and core workouts.

“This class is free for all members, and is perfect for athletes who have fitness or running/walking goals,” Van Kregten said.

In addition to workouts, the Sports Academy will offer, every two months, workshops relevant across all sports.

The first workshop, Fuelling for Optimum Performance, presented by local nutritionist Kelly Pelham, will be on Tuesday at 5.30pm.

The club will support team travel again, something it did much more of in the past.

Club stalwart and committee member Maureen Hyland said the region offered great club events, such as the Red Stag Redwoods Relay in Rotorua.

“We want to encourage club members to support each other at fun events,” she said.

“We’d like to bring that club spirit back.”

In addition to adding group coaching and club travel, the club has switched up its local calendar of events.

Committee member Paul Naske said people had numerous local opportunities to get into running and walking.

“People can join our friends at Parkrun and Huringa Pai for all kinds of challenging events, and take part in the annual Titirangi Mt Everest Challenge,” he said.

“But instead of competing with all that, and the other established Saturday winter activities, we want to complement a weekly calendar of awesome activities.

“We think we have something special to add: getting runners and walkers out into our beautiful local landscapes.”

Moving their runs to Sunday mornings was part of the shift.

“There’s no perfect time that will work for everyone,” Naske said.

“But with the addition of Parkrun on Saturday mornings, we couldn’t avoid it any longer. We had to try something new.”

If the first two events of the season are anything to go by, they’ve found a time that appeals. Nearly 120 people took part in their first trail run, and over 60 did last Sunday’s “Coffee Run” along Wainui and Makorori beaches.

Rennie, in addition to taking the coaching sessions, has been helping the club create high-quality events.

“On any given weekend, athletes of all levels travel out of town to compete in races in Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and beyond,” Rennie said.

“We want to create that festive feel without the travel. The beautiful scenery is all around us.”

In line with other popular trail series, the club now offers short, medium and long courses for runners and walkers.

The club’s next trail run is on Sunday at 10am at Te Kuri Farm Walkway, at the end of Shelley Road.

Information on how to join the club is on its website at http://www.gisborneharriers.co.nz/ and its activities can be followed on Facebook.