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.”