If you’ve conquered a half marathon and you want an altogether different kind of walking challenge, diary in the Julian’s Berry Farm Toi’s Challenge for Sunday, November 18.
Toi’s Challenge is one of Whakatane’s iconic annual events and follows the beautiful Nga Tapuwae o Toi track, named after the Maori chief who ruled the area some 800 years ago.
At 18km, Toi’s is a bit shorter than a half marathon, but the robust terrain makes it a fair bit harder – and the coastal and bush scenery is superb.
Toi’s celebrates its 26th year in 2018, with larger numbers than ever before expected to stride out from the start line. The real running hares take under an hour-and-a-half, but you’ll be in good company if you take three hours or more.
There’s also the option of teaming up with a friend and walking or running only half the distance. If you’re not up for the full 18 kilometres but still want to challenge yourself, the Robinson Law’s 6km fun run or walk is a quick but tough run or walk up steps and hills through the bush track known locally as The Birdwalk.
All 18km individual and team runners and walkers receive a finisher’s medal as a keepsake, so once you cross the finish line, you can pat yourself on the back for conquering one of the off-road highlights of the year.
Treat yourself to a good soaking at the Whakatane Aquatic Centre, located a stone’s throw from Rex Morpeth Park, then cross your fingers that you top it off by winning one of the many spot prizes from local sponsors of the event.