The skies may have been grey at the start of Saturday but there was nothing but smiles on the faces of the 300 or so runners who rolled up for the annual Wondai Country Running Festival.
This is the third year the festival has been held (or the fourth if you count the “trial run” in 2017).
Organisers crossed their fingers and held on while other South Burnett events were cancelled, and their gamble paid off … COVID-19 restrictions were eased sufficiently to allow the event to take place.
And the runners – who came from across south-east Queensland – were very, very grateful as nearly all their regular events had been cancelled.
The total number of nominations for the two days was 469, although some runners took part in more than one event.
By all reports, accommodation was booked out in Wondai, with competitors staying as far away as Proston.
The sudden boost in population also proved a bonus for Wondai’s Saturday markets which were held nearby in Coronation Park.
Organising committee member Ros Heit said there were 72 runners in the 7:07am 5km run on Saturday, followed by 18 in the Dash For Cash, 20 in the All-Abilities Run, 65 in the Family Fun Run and 94 in the Forest Trail Run.
On Sunday, there were 105 competitors in the 10km run, 73 in the Half Marathon and 22 in the Marathon.
Many of the visitors were members of running clubs.
Eight families came up as a large group from Sandgate.
Spokesman Brenton Zwarts said this was the second time they had come to Wondai; six families had travelled up to take part in the 2018 event – and they planned to be back again!
The rain stayed away for most of the weekend with blue skies on Sunday.
The only event that was slightly affected by wet weather was Saturday afternoon’s 10km run through the McEuen Forestry.