January 25th, 2024 President’s Note 25/01/2024

Entries for the 26th Latrobe Community Fun Run (Sunday March 24th at Kernot Hall Morwell) are now open.

We had another excellent turnout last week for the Glengarry run and club dinner. Nearly 90 runners and over 60 stayed for dinner and social interactions. We certainly are more than a running club.


I’ve seen some of the unedited shots taken by James, the Melbourne photographer putting together the “Life in Latrobe” photography installation at Latrobe Gallery, and they are spectacular. We have some seriously photogenic people in the Harriers. I’ll keep everyone updated as to when the exhibition opens.


The Glengarry Football Club also joined us last week, for a small portion of the run. Many of the players expressed thanks for welcoming them, and an interest in joining the club. It’s just another way the club is making community connections.


Club Secretary Alfie Warner and I attended the opening of Latrobe Regional Health’s $223 million expansion wing at LRH this morning. The club was invited as an initiative to reignite the relationship we have had previously with the hospital, and to showcase the new facility. As a club, we should be proud that we are seen as a leader in the community, and that we’re included in these sorts of events. I am certainly honoured to represent the club at these sorts of events, and although it takes time, I think it’s important for Harriers to be seen in various environments, because our members come from so many different sectors.


This week our run is at Railway Reserve on Australia Day Eve, so we’ll be having some drinks at the lake after the run. Stick around and have a chat with your fellow runners and club members. Thank you to Trent, Clinton, Alfie and Desley for organising drinks etc. and to everyone for bringing along a plate (with food on it) to share.


I won’t get too heavily into the politics of what “Australia Day” is, other than to say, I think it’s important to celebrate how lucky we are to live in this wonderful, relatively free country, and enjoy all the benefits we have. I also think it’s sad that the day cannot be truly reflective and representative of all Australians. My personal perspective is that a national day of celebration, which really only started on the current date in 1988, and was made “officially” a national holiday in 1996, should not be considered too traditional to change, if it is not inclusive of all sections of our society.


Culture takes some time to change, and ideas take time to grow and be embraced. This is evident within our own club. The culture has changed in the last 5 years, and some of the ideas we’ve implemented were initially baulked at by some, but the proof of their worth is evidenced in our current culture, in our membership numbers and in the value most members have for the Harriers. People may be resistant to change, but change is the only sure guarantee in life.


Reminder; we encouraging (suggesting, not demanding or enforcing) runners to try and start with their allocated group at Thursday runs. This creates a great race-like atmosphere, and means that runners across all groups finish around the same time. That’s the main reason we have a handicap system, to see groups of similar ability runners take off together, to encourage everyone to do their best, and also hopefully have some safety in numbers, especially for newer members who may not know the courses.


Of course there always reasons and exceptions why someone might not run with their group, and this is absolutely acceptable. If you’re injured, returning from injury, recovering from a big run, have been ill, or just need to get away early but still want to do the Thursday course, it is fine to run in an earlier group, or even a few minutes before your handicap group.


Organisation for the 26th Latrobe Community Fun Run (Sunday March 24th at Kernot Hall) is well under way. I ask everyone to help and support our new Race Directors Trent Kooyman and Clinton Jolly. Entry is now open via Harriers website. We’ll have fliers for all members to distribute next week.


Last week I announced that the Traralgon Marathon 2024 has a new Race Director. Congratulations to Desley Grey for putting up her hand to lead this iconic event. Desley has already started planning to ensure the club runs a fantastic event. Make sure you have a chat and support her.


*IMPORTANT Harriers Dates

15 Feb 2024 Trivia Night DeGrandi’s Vineyard

24 March 2024 26th Community Fun Run Morwell

2 June 2024 57th Traralgon Marathon


Danelle Wright is organising a special order for female club members of running tights and shorts with club logos. Have a chat to her to make your order. Info in this NL.


Remember to get your articles into the newsletter about your running adventures. 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. Members enjoy reading of other member’s inspirational journeys, so don’t be shy to share. Get your articles, thoughts and running snippets through to Glen Crawford at [email protected]


There are some more photos of the Harriers X’mas bash in this NL, showing how much fun the activities were on the night, prior to the food, drinks, awards and celebrations. Again, thank you to those who ran the activity stations to ensure a fun night for everyone; Bob Duljas, Danelle Wright, Clinton Jolly, Desley Grey, Kate Mayer, Molly Irvine, Alfie Warner, Greg Semmler, Ann Bomers and moi!


Thought for the week: The beauty of running is its simplicity. The beauty of runners is that we all have a similar drive to improve. We are usually trying to run a personal best, but every day we run, no matter the event or occasion, it is a personal best just getting out the door.


Phill Mayer – President