Charlie Hughes is greeted as a hero as he completes his 5km parkrun on Saturday morning
Charlie cuts his 226km cake, watched on by parkrun volunteer Cr Jane Erkens

November 27, 2023

Nanango’s Charlie Hughes recently completed a massive 226km fundraising walk  … and has the blisters to prove it.

But, somehow, the Nanango parkrun group enticed Charlie to do another 5km on Saturday morning.

(We think the cake at the end may have had something to do with it!)

The parkrunners wanted to congratulate Charlie for the effort he put into raising funds for Vision Australia.

Charlie has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and is going blind.

The keen sportsman’s life changed overnight in 2020 when he applied for a job at the Kilcoy Meatworks … and failed the eye test.

In one day he lost his driver’s licence, his job, and could no longer play cricket in the local competition.

Charlie, accompanied by his support worker Timothy Walsh, walked out of Nanango’s Pioneer Park in the early hours of November 11 to begin his fundraising quest.

He arrived at his destination, the Vision Australia headquarters in Coorparoo, about noon on November 20.

Tim said the walk lasted a bit longer than originally planned when Charlie needed a break after reaching Fernvale.

“We took the rest of Thursday off and Friday and then started again on Saturday,” Tim said.

The delayed arrival caused some confusion at Vision Australia which had planned a welcome for Charlie on Friday.

An email message led the team to believe there would be no welcome when he did arrive, a fact which blew up on social media.

“But in the end, we couldn’t really complain,” Tim said.

“They had catering and balloons on Monday afternoon.

“I think they felt a bit of heat from the Facebook post but I don’t think it was Vision Australia as a whole, just a bit of miscommunication.”

Charlie admitted on Saturday morning that his feet were still sore after his marathon effort but “not as much as last week”.

“I couldn’t move on Monday,” he said.

He still bravely completed the Nanango parkrun course and was congratulated by a gauntlet of well-wishers when he walked across the finishing line.

So far Charlie has raised $8055 for Vision Australia, smashing his $7000 goal.

Donations to support Charlie’s walk can still be made online until the end of this month.

Footnote: caught up with Charlie again later on Saturday at the Taabinga State School cricket oval where, despite his sore feet, he was volunteering on the sidelines with a Kingaroy cricket team.

Timothy Walsh, probably best known for organising and hosting the Dead Cow Gully backyard ultra marathon, with Charlie … Tim accompanied Charlie on the fundraising walk
The parkrun message on the Ros Gregor Rail Trail said it all
The regular Saturday morning parkrun at Nanango counts down to the start


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