Northcote Tavern has a strong community focus. One regular and very popular event is the Northcote Tavern Run/Walk which is held every Monday evening during daylight saving months. One of the key organisers of this event is Christine Western. In January, Channel Mag’s Aidan Bennett talked to Christine about the event that has been going for over two decades.
AIDAN BENNETT: Christine, how long has the Northcote Tavern Run/Walk been going and what does it involve?
CHRISTINE WESTERN: The event was started by two women residents of Northcote Point in 1999, the idea being general fitness, to utilise a local facility – namely the tavern – and to encourage locals and others to mix. The five kilometre course is an undulating course around Northcote Point. Walkers start at 6.15pm and runners at 6.30pm. Each week the course is chalked out with arrows on the pavement, with the start/finish being outside the Tavern.
Over the years there have been various people in the community who have given their time to run the event. It was in 2012 when Calliope Running Club members and Northcote Tavern teamed up. Entry is a gold coin donation which goes towards purchasing the spot prizes, which are presented in the garden area of the Tavern after the event. The course has remained the same for 21 years.
We must acknowledge Ray Ambler who for 20 years chalked the course out and was the timekeeper/starter each Monday. Northcote Tavern has also been fantastic with its support of this event and is so welcoming every week.
AB: How long have you been involved?
CW: Organisation of the event is a real team effort. The organisers have been a team of Calliope Running Club members over the years. I’ve been doing the walk/run for nearly 15 years. My job is the spreadsheet and weekly newsletter. We also have Megan who organises spot prizes, Werner and Gary mark out the course and do the timekeeping. Our Calliope Running Club captain does the prizegiving each week with a little chat about what’s happening.
AB: What are your first memories of going to the Northcote Tavern?
CW: My first memory of the Tavern is visiting 40 years ago when friends were flatting just down the road. I’ve always loved the cosy lounge bar and its vibe.
AB: How often do you try to pop in for a drink or a meal?
CW: We at the Calliope Running Club call the Northcote Tavern our other club rooms. It’s a great place to pop in and catch up with friends. I try and stay and have a meal and a drink each Monday (after the event) with friends.
AB: How long have you lived in the area?
CW: I have lived on Northcote Point since 1986.
AB: What is your favourite tipple when you visit the Tavern?
CW: Roaring Meg Pinot Gris.
AB: And food?
CW: I love the beer battered market fish. Yum!
AB: What is it that you enjoy about the Northcote Tavern?
CW: I really enjoy the garden areas and the lounge bar. The garden area has roses! It is a really unique vibe, a real family feel and it is just so welcoming. We are so lucky to have this tavern in our community as they offer a hub for everyone.
AB: I understand the pre-Christmas Northcote Tavern Run/Walk was an extra special fun event?
CW: Yes, we had 49 walkers and 39 runners and it was awesome to see everyone getting into the spirit of things – dressing up in Christmas theme – and then staying and enjoying the refreshments in the garden area. Northcote Tavern and the Calliope Running Club covered the costs of the food and also contributed with the prizes.