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Record Roll-Up At Fun Run

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Duathlon champion Brandi Alberts, from Hervey Bay, was the first woman across the line at the Reconciliation Fun Run for the past two years … but she had to settle for second place this year when she came up against 2018’s South Burnett Junior Sportsperson Of The Year Paige O’Connor, from Nanango

May 21, 2019

The Ration Shed’s annual Reconciliation Fun Run from Murgon to Cherbourg celebrated its sixth outing on Sunday with a record attendance.

More than 500 walkers and runners took part this year, either tackling the 7km distance from Murgon Showgrounds to the Ration Shed Museum along Cherbourg Road, or a shorter 3km course around Cherbourg’s streets.

In a twist, this year’s 7km men’s and women’s sections were won by a father-and-daughter combination from Nanango, with father Steven O’Connor and daughter Paige narrowly beating their opposition across the line.

Event co-ordinator Robyn Hallewell said she was still collating final numbers on Tuesday night but knew for certain the event had broken the 500 barrier, and was very likely higher.

The popular fun run aims to promote Reconciliation, encourage healthy outdoor activities, and showcase Cherbourg to non-residents.

Along the way it also helps raise funds for The Ration Shed historical complex.

Before race day, organisers had been concerned the Federal Election and other competing events across the region might affect participant numbers, but these fears proved groundless.

Robyn said a very pleasing feature of this year’s Fun Run was that it seemed more than half the people who took part had never been to the event before.

She said it was important for any event to continue to attract new people, and the high number of new participants – who came from all over the South Burnett and as far afield as Brisbane, Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast – was a positive sign.

This year the Fun Run made a small change – the 10km course, which hadn’t proved popular, was dropped but this made the 3km race even more popular.

The runners were greeted in Cherbourg with live entertainment, food and other stalls.

The day also provided an opportunity for Cherbourg residents to comment on Council’s proposed new local laws as students from QUT surveyed passers-by.

Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray, Ration Shed chairperson Aunty Sandra Morgan and South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff spoke from the stage.

Robyn said this year the Fun Run had encouraged participants to register as early as possible so they could be properly recorded in the official timing system used to calculate race results.

However, many people still managed to miss the deadline, so helpers were registering runners right up to race time on Sunday morning.

After some teething problems when it was introduced last year, Robyn said this year it performed without a hitch.

“It really made the job of working out who placed where so much easier,” she said.

Cherbourg Economic Development Officer Sean Nicholson said he was delighted with this year’s roll-up, and very pleased with the way the weather worked out despite a brief drizzle.

“I think this is the first year we didn’t have a fog on Cherbourg Road, and the numbers were impressive,” he said.

“The Fun Run has grown every year and hopefully it’s just going to keep getting bigger and bigger.

“It’s a very positive event for the Cherbourg community and the atmosphere is just great.”

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James Maxwell, from Kingaroy, congratulated Stephen O’Connor, from Nanango, who just pipped him to take out line honours in the men’s section

Members of Murgon’s Graham House Walking Group brought a big team to this year’s Fun Run

Health Walker, 12, came from Currumbin to take out first prize in the Junior Boys section

Three members of Murgon’s colourfully dressed Laurel Place team took part in the 3km event …

… while the fourth Laurel Place team member elected to tackle the more demanding 7km course

You never know who you’ll meet at the Fun Run … this year, even Spiderman put in an appearance

The eye-catching outfits of the Jelly Belly team won them a prize for their efforts

Cherbourg Radio broadcast live from the site, keeping the music and interviews flowing along until the main stage fired up for speeches, presentations and post-race entertainment

As the morning wore on, all sorts of colourful characters made their way across the finish line ….

… and plenty were just glad to finish the course

South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff – a regular participant in the Fun Run – made a last-minute dash to the finish line so she could claim bragging rights over Cr Danita Potter, who was enjoying her first year on the Fun Run course

Last-minute dashes were the order of the day for a lot of participants who opted to walk most of the way from Murgon to Cherbourg, but wanted to look good at the finish line

After the 7km race had ended, 150 participants lined up to tackle the 3km short course

… and they were off as soon as the starter gave the nod …

… followed by much larger crowd that opted to walk the distance rather than run …

… which kept coming (and coming, and coming …)

Bettina Stewart, from Brooklands, chatted with Liz Nicholson, from Murgon, after the main race

Kim Soppa, Kevina Suey and Bonnie Foster were part of a large team that came from Toowoomba’s Kulila Indigenous Kindergarten … it was the group’s first visit to the Fun Run but they promised it won’t be their last!

Fun Run helpers Zona Hussey-Smith, from Stepping Black, and Cherbourg Council Economic Development Officer Sean Nicholson were relieved their efforts had helped produce another record-breaking result for the popular event


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One Response to Record Roll-Up At Fun Run

  1. Bronwyn Tipman

    Great article once again South Burnett Online. We can never thank your team enough for the efforts you give us to promote our organisation and community

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