May 23, 2017
Former champion athlete Robert de Castella is used to breaking records, but his marathon efforts weren’t the kind of records the organisers of the Reconciliation Fun Run from Murgon to Cherbourg were interested in celebrating on Sunday.
It was the record number of participants in the run – more than 500 – which was making everyone very happy.
The run, which is in its fourth year, has become a major fundraiser for the Ration Shed Museum at Cherbourg.
It started in light fog at Murgon Showgrounds about 8:00am after a blessing by Cherbourg pastor Willie Moses.
Ration Shed management committee member Bevan Costello reminded the runners that it was all about Reconciliation.
He said run would provide a great opportunity for the Aboriginal participants to share their family stories with the other runners around them.
Robert de Castella – or “Deek” as he is better known – led the crowd through a light warm-up routine to stretch their muscles.
And then they were off!
The runners included Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien (who also ran last year); South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff, who has been a fixture at the run since it started; and Clare O’Connor, the Director-General of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.
There were also runners in tutus, Mexican hats, coloured wigs and one poor skeleton …
Seven kilometres later, and after climbing “heartbreak hill” into Cherbourg, the runners joined family members and friends in the park opposite the Ration Shed to enjoy a barbecue lunch, listen to music and watch a performance by the Wakka Gubbi Dancers.
There were also stalls to explore and at the rear of the Ration Shed, face-painting and art for the children.
Aunty Sandra Morgan, chair of the Cherbourg Historical Precinct (which includes the Ration Shed), said it had been “a long, long road” to get the fun run to the point it was at now but her heart was “filled with happiness”.
Footnote: Just in case you’ve forgotten how mighty a marathon runner Robert de Castella really was … he was a dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist, the 1983 World Champion, a former world record holder, winner of the City To Surf (twice) as well as the Boston Marathon and several other international marathons; he has been awarded an MBE, an OAM, is a former Australian of the Year, and has been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall Of Fame.
- Big Day Tops Off A Big Effort (2016)
- Fitness, Fun And Friendship (2015)
- Running For Fun And Reconciliation (2014)
* * *
Reconciliation Fun Run Prizes
Champion athletes Robbie Crowther (long jump, high jump) and Larissa Chambers (sprinting, relay) presented the prizes to the winning runners:
NB. Caitlyn Watson was the winner of the fastest girl (secondary) prize