October 12th, 2023 President's Note 12/10/2023

President’s Note - 12.10.2023


This week’s run is the Kay Street Traralgon - Morwell Bike Path to Airfield Road 5k.

Start and finish at the Lutheran Church, opposite Swallow Grove on Old Melbourne Road (top end of Kay Street). Parking in the church carpark and surrounds.

Duty: Samantha McGown & Mandy Ellis. CM: PM.

Check the plotaroute https://www.plotaroute.com/route/2142761


Next week’s run is Lake Hyland Churchill 6k

Park at the carpark on Mackeys Road.

Duty: Matilda Lappin & Claire McCumber. Course Marker: Gary Fox.



We had an amazing day for The Memorial Run 2023. It was truly a special event, and I thank everyone who contributed, and all members who turned up to support the run. To me, it’s probably the most meaningful event we run over the year.


We had a huge turnout of members, friends and guests. Ann Wilson (Geoff’s widow) and Jason Schilling (Nick’s brother) were in attendance to represent their family and present the perpetual trophies named after the former club members who tragically took their lives. Both had a run, and spoke at presentations with great emotion about what the run and the Harriers mean to them, their family and the community.


Michelle Possingham, CEO of Gippsland Lifeline, was there to share her perspective on mental health and the blight that is suicide. She shared some sobering statistics, and one that really stood out was that 9 out of 10 suicides in Australia are men.


For those that don’t know, this run is a memorial to honour former club members who took their lives, and as such, it’s all about raising awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, which is at epidemic proportions in our community, with the numbers at a staggering level. This issue affects young and old, male and female, apparently “healthy” and “ill” alike. It’s an important run, and raising funds for our local support organisation is essential, because they rely on community donations, business support and grants to operate, and they are stretched to the limit without ongoing or adequate government funding. They provide an essential service. We have all been touched by suicide in some way, and it is not a topic to avoid talking about. We must confront it, discuss it, support people, find solutions and reasons where we can.


All that said, it was not a sad day, but rather one of reflection and conversation, and it was indeed uplifting, with the amount of support and positivity quite overwhelming.


Winners of the Nick Schilling 6k Perpetual Trophy were Sav Maurofridis (22:50) & Kathryn Preston (28:23). Winners of the Geoff “Swaggy” Wilson 12k Perpetual Trophy were Miles Verschuur (44:27) and Megan Harrison (54:31).

Full results for the day can be found here https://my.raceresult.com/265085/


Huge thanks to all members who helped out on the day, but especially to Andrew Legge, Rob Preston, Ann Bombers, Desley Grey, Vicky Atkins, Kate Mayer, John Reisinger, Kate Cumming, Marika Reilly, Rick Mann, Corey Milner, Clinton Jolly, Trent Kooyman, Kaye Livingstone and her husband Ian.


Also acknowledgement to Morwell Neighbourhood Watch, Shane & Shay Wilson from Health Happiness Harmony / Isagenix, and Anthony Bloomfield and the Latrobe Cricket Club for the use of their facilities.


Last week’s track night may have been a touch cold and wet, but it was also hot and speedy! Over 50 Harriers burnt up the track despite the weather, which actually turned out to be top running conditions. As I always say, its only weather. There were some fantastic times as you can read in the run report, but the most impressive aspect is the support from fellow members, the cheering and encouragement. Those that did duty on the night were fantastic, counting laps and yelling out words of cheer on every lap. There are always so many wonderful stories from members on these nights, and I know track running isn’t for everyone, because it is challenging, there’s nowhere to escape, and some think it’s boring. But it’s great to something different and overcome that mental battle.


The best example was Kylee Earl, who thought the concept was stupid, didn’t want to do it, thought it was idiocy to run around a track in circles 12.5 times, and not in the rain. But she turned up anyway, challenged herself, and finished with a completely different perspective, which included a respect and even a love of the track. Rarely do members turn up and regret having a run!


This Sunday 15th of October is the Melbourne Marathon, and I know we’ll have a stack of members running different distances. It’ll be great seeing the Big T singlets out there, and the club always gets call-outs and recognition. Hopefully everyone gets some photos together at the end and we get some great run reports in the NL next week, telling of your individual journey and adventures. All the best to everyone for a great run, and most importantly, enjoy!


This week, we hit the 174 members mark! If you’re an established club member, make it your business to introduce yourself to a new face, and make sure newbies are made to feel comfortable. If you see someone looking a bit lost or standing by themselves, just say hello. It’s not hard and it makes a world of difference to ensuring new members have a positive experience, and it gives people time to integrate and get to know the workings of the club. Remember how you felt when you first rocked up to the club (hopefully you were made to feel like you belonged).


*IMPORTANT Harriers Dates

23 Nov Committee Meeting Note Date Change (after Chook Hill Run)

3 Dec King & Queen of the Mountain (30k Individual + Relay Teams, Mt. Tassie)

28 Dec & 4 Jan X’mas Break – No Harriers Thursday Runs

15 Feb 2024 Trivia Night DeGrandi’s Vineyard

24 March 2024 Community Fun Run


*Duty Roster Summer 2023/24

REMEMBER: If you can’t fulfil your allocated duty, the onus is on you to swap with someone.

12 Oct Samantha McGown & Mandy Ellis

19 Oct Matilda Lappin & Claire McCumber

26 Oct Karen Graham & Stephen Renehan

2 Nov Michelle Colwell & Kathy Quinn         

9 Nov Sally Eenjes & Kylee Earl

16 Nov Edward Hunter (C&B Summersgill Champs) Krissi Creighton & Luke Witham & Miles Verschuur & Greg Semmler

23 Nov Andrew Panayiotou & Chesney Podmore    

30 Nov David Hood & Kate Cumming

3 Dec Peter Fairbairn & Paul Rollandin

7 Dec Catherine Leonard & Siyao Ma & Zoe Zhang

14 Dec Harriers X’mas Break-up PM & Legge

21 Dec Harriers X’mas Lights Run

28 Dec & 4 Jan No Run - X’mas Break

11 Jan Owen Notting & Nicholas Talerico

18 Jan Geoff Francis & Lee Francis

25 Jan Maree Graham & Collette Hoffman

1 Feb Darrel Cross & Kathleen Kent

8 Feb Adrian Clements & Alysha Duncan

15 Feb Jason Odlum & Mark Fairbairn

22 Feb Jay McGown & Nick Hodson

29 Feb Paul Smith & Josh Dalton

7 March Chris Francis & Felicity Beasley       

14 March Tania Whitehead & Helen Whitby

21 March Adam Van Baalen & Barry Higgins

28 March TBC




The 5 starting groups for Thursday runs will remain for the summer season. Club Handicapper Andrew Legge groups members into fair handicaps based on times. If you feel you need to be re-handicapped please have a chat to him. Handicaps are about members running in a group that is commensurate with the individual member’s time, so we all run in a group with similar times and ability. Handicaps are not a penalty. It spreads runners out at the start, so is safer, and means that members all finish around the same time. Handicaps are fluid and adjusted as required. Let those on duty know if there is a mistake so they can make note and can be rectified.


Make sure you get your name checked off the list BEFORE starting, making note of your group.

Group 1 (Walkers/Slower Runners) - Start Upon Arrival

Group 2- Start 5:50

Group 3- Start 6

Group 4- Start 6:05

Group 5- Start 6:10


Summer Season Rules

-Self Timing (please give time to duty member after you’ve finished the course).

-New Runners Always Welcomed (2 free runs before membership due).

-PLEASE check in with duty members and get your name marked off the list BEFORE you take to the course (Very important for safety so we know who is on course). Walkers still start upon arrival for winter season.

-Look after junior runners and newbies. Be careful on any public roads and at road crossings. Give way to traffic. Please run on the right hand side so you can see traffic, or preferably, on the footpath.

-Watch for obstacles on course. Summer runs are mainly on trails, which present multiple hazards; logs, holes, rocks, snakes, wildlife, dumped rubbish, slippery downhill sections, etc. Safety is the priority over times!


*All members please check the Duty Roster and make note of your rostered date. If you can’t do your allocated duty, it’s up to you to swap with someone or get a fill-in. If you’re not on the roster it’s because you’re a course marker, you don’t run Thursdays (only do AV or you’re a social member), you’re a junior member, late-in-the-season-joining new member, or you got lucky. That’s the benefit of having good membership numbers; you get to run more and only have to do one duty in a season. The idea is to make duty fun, it’s not a chore. It’s a great way to get to know other members and put names to faces. (NB: If you’re on duty, you can run early, do the course and put in your time). Those who do duty or course marking get bonus points in the championships each season.


*For those doing Thursday duty, please arrive by 5:40 at the start of the course. The list will be there provided by Handicapper Andrew Legge. You need to check-in all attending members (by highlighting their names) before they set off on course, and write in their times at the end. One person should be responsible for the list, the other should be on the clock and announcing start times for the groups (use your phone). Give each group a two minute, one minute and 10 second warning, and then a clear vocal start.


*Course markers should inform of any aspects on the course for safety, and you should be familiar with the course if there is a plotaroute (many summer trails don’t have them) so you can give directions especially to new runners (who you should make feel welcome and inform me of their attendance to give a shout out at the end). Plotaroutes are posted on the club’s FB page and Insta. The course marker should make note of any obstructions or obstacles and point them out at the start of the run and inform those on duty, who should communicate to each starting group.

-Course markers to mark/highlight any fall-risk areas on the course

-Course markers to only mark footpath and not the roads

-All runners to run on footpath

-There is no insurance for runners who run on the road

-If runners elect to run on road at their own risk (not recommended or supported by

club) they should run on the right hand side and run towards traffic.


Course Markers are to get white marking chalk (winter) or pink marking paint (summer) from Molly Irvine, preferably the week prior to your course at the Thursday run. Marking is dependent upon weather, and should be done just before the run to ensure clear, fresh arrows.


*In the event that weather is seriously inclement in winter (severe rain, gale force winds, extreme heat, lightening etc.) we may cancel the Thursday run, but traditionally, Thursday Harriers is run despite the weather. If it is too bad to run, we’ll notify cancellation via social media. If the weather is bad and we still run, we may just cancel doing lucky member draw and member’s address after, to avoid standing around in the cold. In that case, members can arrive, run, lodge times and go, with no need to stand around freezing.


*Traralgon Harriers Merchandise – Remember we’ve got club socks, caps, visors and beanies; socks come in women’s and men’s and are $15 for members ($20 for non-members), caps are one-size fit $20 ($25 non), and beanies are $20 for members ($25 for non). We also have running singlets at a cost of $30 for members. All merchandise is at a subsidised cost to members; we’re not trying to make money off these items, just provide another way for members to unify, identify and fly the club flag.


*Lucky Member Prize Draw after each Thursday run - All financial members are on the list. Remember you must be there to collect your prize otherwise it is re-drawn (This happens a fair bit, so don’t miss out - Don’t be a winner who leaves and therefore loses). The value of the prizes has gone up so it’s even more worth your while sticking around. Remember, the draw happens after the last runner is through and all times have been recorded. Thanks to Kaye Livingstone for organising the weekly prizes. Thanks to Kaye Livingstone for coordinating.


At the end of each Thursday run we also welcome and acknowledge any new runners who have joined us for the first time. If you see a new face, say hi, chat to them and make sure they stick around and feel welcomed. We seem to have new runners every week and a lot are actually joining after their 2 free runs.


Aside from our Thursday runs, club weekend events and AV team opportunities, the club also has 2 fantastic weekly training groups, one in the morning for early risers, and one in the evening, which everyone is welcome to join.


*T-Squad Weekend Sessions; usually Saturday mornings from 8:30am, at various locations with Greg Semmler. Join the FB Group “T Squad” for more details. This group has built into a really strong part of the Harriers, and aside from quality training, they enjoy breakfast together. Food is a great motivation!


*Tuesday Group Sessions; at the Little Aths Track, Davidson Street Traralgon from 6pm with me and a great team. Join the FB Group “Traralgon Tuesday Running Group” for more details. This group has been going for over 20 years, and is all about training (obviously) but also laughs, support and friendships. The camaraderie at TTRG is the thing that has seen it continue for so long, so if you haven’t come along to a session, put it in your diary.


The club newsletter is an important communication medium, and most members use it as a place to get updates, information and share stories. Our NL editors work hard to ensure it’s interesting, informative and relevant. We will be moving towards changing the format in the not too distant future, just to update the look and presentation. Most members enjoy reading of other member’s adventures and inspirational journeys, so don’t be shy to share and shoot your articles, thoughts and running snippets through to Glen Crawford at [email protected]


Thought for the week: When running, remember that each foot-strike carries you forward, not backward, and every time you put on your running shoes, you’re different in some way than you were the day before!


Phill Mayer – President