Elite athletes, families, friends and those with a little bit of a competitive streak hit the Bargara coastline for the 10-year anniversary of Cane2Coral on Sunday.
As hundreds of racers waited their turn to line up for either the 21.1km, 10km or 4km events, some stretched and paced with looks of concentration on their faces, while others joked and laughed knowing it was all in a bit of fun to join the running event that gets the whole Bundaberg Region community involved.
Cane2Coral 21km female winner Kirra Seidel, who raced with her partner Jarryd Hamilton, has taken part in the Cane2Coral a number of times and won the 10km Cane2Coral last year.
She also holds the female record for the older Cane2Coral 21km course that previously started at CQUniversity.
The pair travelled from the Sunshine Coast to take part in the Bundaberg event as triathlon training.
Proud as punch about Kirra's efforts, Jarryd said she was a “pretty handy runner” and all her dedication and hard work paid off.
“You really have to have your mental head on to prepare for the run,” Kirra said.
Healthy competition for brothers
For brothers Griffin and Jamieson Webb the race was a little bit of healthy competition while taking the opportunity to train for a marathon while ticking something else of their bucket lists.
But the end result may not have been what both Webb brothers had hoped for.
Older brother Jamieson, 36, crossed the finished line about 15 minutes before Griffin, 32, and was grinning ear-to-ear with the result.
“I smashed him,” Jamieson said.
“This event is a lot of fun – it’s a great way to stay fit and keep healthy – you know keep the daddy-bulge off!”
While Griffin said it was a shame to be beaten by his older brother, but the views were nice and he’d do it again.
“It was a good run and it wasn’t that cold this morning and it only took about three minutes to get in and warm the body up,” Griffin said.
“It was a good race and I think I will take the next two weeks to recover.
“I’d absolutely encourage everyone in the Bundaberg community to take part in this event – you don’t have to do the 21km you could do the 10km or the 4km.
“It’s like Anzac Day – you have to get out of bed early, but you always feel better at the end of it, knowing you’ve taken part.”
4km all for fun
Proving you’re never too old to take part was 70-year-old Lynda Zunker who was joined by Melissa Bauer for a morning of fun.
Pinning the bib on Melissa’s shirt Lynda laughed and said her bib may be better suited if it was placed on her back.
“I said at least if it’s on my back when I fall flat on my face they will know by my number who I am and they can ring my husband to come and get me,” Lynda laughed!
“I have done the 8km before when I was in my sixties – it’s all in a bit of fun.”
Team event for everyone at Cane2Coral
The biggest team to join the 2019 Cane2Coral was the team from Bundaberg Sugar with 144 registered members, then there was smaller groups from around the Bundaberg Region who knew if they did it together they’d cross the finish line with ease.
The Bundaberg Regional Council team were pumped and ready to tackle one of the courses, some with a gleam in their eye hoping to beat their previous year’s result, and others who were there to support a colleague.
Council’s chief finance officer Anthony Keleher said he had run six out of the 10 Cane2Coral events, but his first in the 10km race.
“I normally run the 21km – but my poor old knees are starting to go,” Anthony laughed.
“I just do it to keep fit and it’s a great event.”
No matter the end result all of the participants, whether they ran, walked or were pushed, they all had fun taking part in the Bundaberg Sugar Cane2Coral and finished triumphantly at Neilson Park overlooking the beautiful Coral Sea, while raising money for charity.
- Cane2Coral inspires team challenge