Memories of Harriers
One of my fondest memories of the Harriers is of Sunday morning runs from Koornalla. A small group of distance runners would gather and then individually decide whether to run the 15 or the 21 (this was MILES not Kilometres!). The group would start together and then peel off to go their separate ways about 30 minutes into the run. At this point the 21 kept climbing whilst the 15 wended its way down gradually back to the Traralgon Creek Road.
Running the 21 was a taxing but ultimately exhilarating experience. It compromise a steady upward climb of over an hour (for most of us) up to Jeeralang West Road, followed by an undulating section until Jeeralang North Road was reached then a downhill stretch until the logging track turnoff was located (and sometimes missed!) and finally a fast paced downhill section (for those with the energy) back to the starting point at Koornalla. On these runs the air was clear, the bush setting uplifting and the sense of camaraderie palpable. Many people used this run as their final preparation before a marathon. In the early days, weary runners would be greeted by a boiled billy and a bite to eat courtesy of Daphne Thompson, who had fill in the time with a walk along Traralgon Creek before waiting patiently under the pine trees for the runners to return. These gatherings epitomise for me what the Harriers was all about.
Once we moved to Hazelwood South in 1974, it was my task to regularly renew the water bottles that were planted at the foot of the Jeeralang North Road sign to act as a permanent drink station. This gave me an excuse to drive up into the hills regularly. There were also regular runs from our home at Hazelwood South taking various routes up into the Jeeralang’s.
When the runs were of a more formal nature, Swaggy would go out and mark the course. Often the route would involve the legendary climb up Thomson Road to Jeeralang North Road, a real “pipe opener” at the beginning of a run. The after run cuppas would be at our place and my job was to ensure that there was an ample supply of carrot and zucchini cake to refuel weary runners. They were good days which I remember very fondly.
Anne Wilson 25 July 2015