Southern Charity Challenge a Success in SA

Posted on April 17, 2007 by

No pain, no gain seemed to be the common statement heard all along the south coast on Sunday the 15th of April as walkers, joggers and cyclists participated in the 5th PowerFM Southern Charity Challenge.

Thankfully the pain was their own while the gain was for charity. Sunday’s PowerFM Southern Charity Challenge long distance walking event has been declared by the event organizer as a fantastic success. Brad Butler said, “We first ran the event in 2003 as a bit of a test run. Just putting our toe gently in the water to gauge how much support there might be for a local long distance walk that held some challenges. The response particularly this year has been amazing.”

The Southern Charity Challenge was run in 4 sections this year with the 15km walk from Goolwa to Victor Harbor being a popular and well supported distance. However the 21.1km half marathon event attracted record numbers this year but it was the 37km and 60km courses to Back Valley via the Bluff which were the most demanding.
The start line was a mass of activity as late registrations saw numbers peak at 183 and it was particularly positive to see families choose to join the festivities by participating in the 15km course.

The Bell family from Genesis Tour and Charter generously assisted with a free courtesy bus to Goolwa for participants with pick ups at Yilki and Victor. A slight breeze early in the day did not diminish the enthusiasm of participants with most participants appreciating the cool, overcast conditions.

Victor’s senior brigade, rallied by local identities Des & Marg Dent, cycled the half marathon course and in doing so raised considerable money for Oxfam whilst achieving some great fitness gains.

The first individual jogger to complete the half marathon was novice runner Daniel Searle in 1hr21mins. This was an incredible performance in Daniel’s first half marathon. The first female jogger to cross the half marathon finish was Katrina Tucker from Mount Gambier. Other great half marathon performances included well known masters jogger, Jean Sinkinson. Chris Dale along with husband & wife, Lynda & Laurie Hall, were the first team to complete the 37km course in an excellent 6hrs&28mins. The 60km course is a demanding course with beach walking, several significant hills and then rugged bush sections. Teams were thankful for clear skies and cool conditions while walking the demanding course.

The first team over the line in the 60km event were the Built Environs team of Paul Davies and Nina Wagner-Higgins. They completed the distance in 7hr&57m shaving 18 minutes of the 2006 fastest record team time. The last team of long distance team dragged themselves over the line in 12hrs&22mins. Tired but still laughing.

Teams travelled from Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier and the Riverland to participate in the event with all individuals enjoying the spirit of the event and speaking positively of the input from the large volunteer staff. The PowerFM Southern Charity Challenge was run by Brad Butler as a volunteer with teams gaining sponsorship for charity. All proceeds from the fundraising efforts of individuals are directed to Oxfam Australia.

The PowerFM Southern Charity Challenge is expected to raise over $14,000 for a specific community empowerment project facilitated by Oxfam Australia. With approximately $5,500 collected on the day this expectation is achievable.
Event organizer Brad Butler is now considering ways the event can be expanded for next year. “With the support of great supporters PowerFM, The Victor Times, Genesis Tour & Charter, Victor Print and Paddy Pallin the event can definitely be improved. I think there was enough interest shown over the weekend to demonstrate support for future events which offer people the dual goals of improving fitness and raising funds for a better and fairer world.