Organisers of the Wondai Country Running Festival are excited to bring back the first of the South Burnett’s regular festivals to be held since the March lockdowns (Photo: Wondai Country Festival)

June 8, 2020

Wondai’s Country Running Festival will be making its fourth outing this Saturday and organisers will be hoping for fine weather all weekend.

The Festival is one of the few local events that didn’t decide to “pull the plug” early during the COVID-19 pandemic although it was put back a month to allow restrictions to ease sufficiently to allow it to operate.

Committee spokesperson Ros Heit said current restrictions meant there would be staggered starts for all running events.

But this would not pose any problem because all runners would be wearing electronic timing bibs that will record their start and finish times automatically.

Before the races, runners will also be kept in small groups in separate “pens” to ensure proper social distancing.

Ros said registrations for this year’s events have broken all previous records, with more than 300 people signed up.

“Things just keep getting a bit bigger every year,” she said.

The schedule of events is similar to last year’s festival with a couple of minor changes.

On the Saturday, the CROW-FM Dash For Cash – a one kilometre fast run – will be held at 8:15am, followed by the South Burnett CTC All Abilities run (1km) at 8:45am and then the 2km Family Fun Run at 9:00am.

At 2:30pm, the 11.1km PCA McEuen Forest Trail Run will be held.

On Sunday morning, the Ken Mills Automotive Marathon (42.2km) will get underway at 6:30am, followed by the Bendigo Bank Half-Marathon (21.1km) at 7:00am and the 10km PCA Rail Trail Run at 7:30am.

Saturday’s events will coincide with the monthly Wondai Markets, and on Sunday, food and coffee stalls will be open to cater for spectators.

Footnote: Sunday’s events are expected to conclude in time for local residents to take part in the Wondai air crash commemoration service which will mark the 30th anniversary of a tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of five victims.

[Photos: Nadine Gray Photography]

The crowded race fields seen at last year’s Festival won’t be a feature this year – to keep everyone safe, starting times for all races will be staggered
Running Festival participants tackle the Tingoora railway bridge during last year’s event … parts of the South Burnett Rail Trail will be closed from 6:45am to 1:00pm on Sunday to allow the Festival’s marathon and half-marathon races to be run

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