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Pack Reports 2023

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Slower running group

Kia ora tātou,
Although the slower running group doesn’t have a pack leader as such, I have been tasked with
putting together a report for the year.
Our group which is now more like a back to running group due to the number of our members who
are nursing injuries of some sort and need to take it easy. With that said our runners continue to
enter into events ranging from 10km through to the marathon. (My apologies if I have missed any
other distances).
With our running distances not ranging as far as Gordy’s pack, we tend to keep our runs within a
10km radius – the Miramar peninsula and south coast to Princess and/or Island Bay being run
frequently. We have been doing a few trails the last couple of months which has been interesting
and I’d like to thank Liz for some of the inspiration for our runs.
Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu – although we are small pack, I enjoy getting out and running with you all
when I can on the Sunday morning.

Tasi Takuira-Mita

‘Middle’ running pack

Sadly this running pack doesn’t really exist anymore. I have tried to keep it alive by turning up most
Sundays during 2023. But, to make sure that I don’t have to run alone, I call Mo in advance to see
whether he would like to run on Sunday and then I suggest meeting at Akau Tangi – hence there is an
appearance of a “pack”. Going for a solo run starting from Rongotai is not a very uplifting prospect,
so if Mo can’t make it, I don’t turn up either.
Certainly we have been on some good runs this year and had some excellent conversation, but I
think we both miss group running as we used to know it.

The lack of Sunday running partners has not prevented achievement and the most significant of
these was Mo’s completion of his 15th Rotorua Marathon in May. This, of course, gained him entry
into the Rotorua Survivors’ Club – an august and exclusive group of determined, but slightly odd,
people. Congratulations Mo. You might think that would cap off someone’s marathon career, but he
is determined to also compete in Rotorua 2024, which is the 60th Anniversary event.
No Rotorua for me, but I completed yet another Goat Race at Ruapehu in January. Then the Ring of
Fire (50km) which picks up where the Goat finishes and completes the circumnavigation of Mt
Ruapehu. A visit to Europe in October included a visit with Graham and Sheila Sampson in
Worcester, running the Oxford Half Marathon and a park run in Berlin.
Let’s see what 2024 will bring.

Bill Frecklington

Gordy’s pack (6:30/km)

This year has been somewhat disjointed with the regular hard core members being a little
inconsistent in attendance throughout the year for various reasons.

We had a good build up for this year’s Rotorua Marathon, which occupies the first 16 weeks or so of
the year, from my perspective at least, as Mikey and I managed to fulfil our schedule of long runs to
the letter and attain the goal of not only completing the Marathon but also the Palmerston North
Half Marathon only 8 days later as a rebound, which is really an excuse for not missing it.
Other pack members had other events scheduled in, which meant missing the scheduled long runs
but they never the less performed well in these, namely the Xterra series of off road events… Annie
and PJ, and Hutt River Trail…Pete Frawley and the like.

Since May the pack has operated on a more piecemeal basis, depending on who turned up on any
particular Sunday. Some of us have had health issues raise up in the form of drawn out persistent
under-the-weather type symptoms that seem to drag on and on other occasions travelled overseas
on various occasions and the pack has continued during these absences along with participating in
the frequent away bus trips that the Club has organized, which have been great actually.

We also have a small group of “members” who turn up occasionally who also have been
participating in various events when not actually coming along on Sundays. So, with all this in mind
the pack continues to be a “thing” as long as there are enough to make a pack (sometimes that’s just
2, although we have maxed out at 6) it’s enough to ensure it’s survival.

On the occasions we have actually ran from the ASB we have had a good variety of courses and
terrain and have seen a mix of conditions and challenges along the way. As an average comment we
seem to, in our “2 hour minimum” tag cover approximately 16-20km, with anywhere from sea level
up to 400-650m of total altitude gain depending on how determined, frustrated, hopeful, ambitious
or insane we deem to be on the day. So, virtually a half marathon of effort, or close to it, when the
hills are taken into account.

This, to me, is what the Clinic (as I continue to call it) is all about: consistent and frequent agitation
of the body – roll on 2024!

Gordy Clarke

Walking Group

Here we are, another walking year almost over and I am pleased to report that though we are all
getting a little older, we have managed to keep our numbers up. We have been maintaining a good
core number of walkers each Sunday, usually around 13 to 16. Overall, we number in the mid 20s
including several fresh faces this year.
Our program each week mostly follows the same routine. After the 8.00am briefing we set off on a
two hour, more or less, walk anywhere within a 5 kilometre radius of the Centre. Each walk is
planned and can vary between on and off road as the weather dictates. Following the walk we head
for The Park Kitchen cafe in Miramar for refreshment. We are now such regulars that they set up a
long table exclusively for our use.
Our walks are open to all members and we are sometimes joined by runners recovering from injury
or new people off the street, as it were, looking to experience what the club has to offer. Naturally,
we are always keen to encourage these people to stay. The same is true of our post-walk open-
house coffee and scone get together and we often welcome other club members. From time to
time we are joined by President Nigel and Maryse, always good company, and a nice gesture to link
runners and walkers. Furthering that link, we have two members on the committee this year.
This year we have been lucky in that there have been no serious falls requiring an ambulance. Any
minor scrapes that have happened have been dealt with by the group, who include a couple of ex-
We have always welcomed the occasional break from routine and we are keen bus trippers, always
turning out in good numbers to explore new ground. Not only keen bus trippers but keen walkers in
general as some in the group also walk during the week with other groups.
Overall, I am pleased to say that morale within the Walking Group is as high as it has ever been.

Jane O’Connell