May 18, 2016
Surveying the faces in Cherbourg’s Memorial Park on Sunday morning, Ration Shed chairperson Aunty Sandra Morgan summed up the success of the 2016 Reconciliation Fun Run: “Seeing you all here makes all the hard effort worthwhile!”
The third annual Reconciliation Fun Run, which is a fundraiser for the Ration Shed as well as an effort to build bridges, have fun and get fit – had a record number of registrations this year.
Organising committee member Robyn Hofmeyr said more than 450 runners had been registered.
“It was a wonderful day and we have received really great feedback,” she said.
The run started in a fog-bound Murgon Showgrounds at 8:00am on Sunday.
Ration Shed Museum management committee member Bevan Costello launched the day with a Welcome To Country and prayer.
Three guest athletes, ex-NRL player Petero Civoniceva and track athletes Larissa Chambers and Shannon McCann, then led the runners through a series of warm-up exercises.
As usual, the youngest runners surged off the starting line first.
However, this year – for the first time – it was an adult who crossed the finish line first: Nanango runner Andrew Cross.
Andrew, who won the 2014 Kingaroy Of The Mountain footrace in Nanango, was over the moon afterwards.
It was the first time he had taken part in the Cherbourg fun run, but it won’t be his last.
“It’s a really great run,” he told southburnett.com.au, “It’s a great day and I’ll be back next year.”
Cherbourg mayor Arnold Murray agreed the day had been very good.
“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year,” he said.
Cr Kathy Duff, who is the Indigenous Portfolio holder on the South Burnett Regional Council, has taken part every year.
This year she convinced recently elected mayor Keith Campbell to also take part for the first time. She boasted that she overtook him on “heartbreak hill” to beat him home by a metre.
(Later in the day, Cr Duff backed up to walk from Crawford to Kingaroy in the ‘Walk With Lynda’ …)
After all the stragglers had been marked off, entertainment continued in the park opposite The Ration Shed.
There was dancing, live music by Muddy Flats, face painting and children’s games, a sausage sizzle and market stalls.
In the Yidding Artists studio, artist Venus Rabbitt held a painting workshop for children.
Robyn Hofmeyr said the Director-General of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Clare O’Connor, had taken part in the day and had been very impressed.
“The organising committee are extremely happy,” Robyn said.
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