Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Get over it
Mark your calendars! It's time again to start training for the iconic Sunday Mail Suncorp Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run which in 2014 will be held on Sunday 7th September. Get ready to get your run on and pound up and over the mighty Gateway (Sir Leo Hirschler) Bridge (South) with thousands of other mad runners and walkers. You can enter either the 10km run (if you want to take on the 5.1 degree incline of the Bridge) or the 5km walk/run to finish at the RNA Showgrounds.
In 2013, the 10km men's winner ran the distance in 30 minutes and 40 seconds, and the women's in 35 minutes and 56 seconds - give you something to aspire to? Don't be too intimidated though, the average runner takes about 1 hour and 14 minutes to cover the whole course - and your personal time will be recorded individually so you can track how you are going year on year, for repeat offenders. There's also a 10km wheelie event, but you just know they are going to leave you for dust! More motivating, perhaps, is the 'Hero Time', where you get 1 second off your raw time for every $1 you raise for your charity .... so if you raise $3000 dollars, you'll be 'faster' than the elite winners!!
As Queensland's largest fun run, in 2013 alone runners raised over $940,000 for their 200 nominated charities. Will 2014 be the year to break the $1 million dollar mark? Not if you sit there on your couch, it won't!
Registration numbers for the fun run are limited (some 50,000 runners are expected to participate in 2014), so get in quick when registrations open on 1st June 2014. Keep an eye out in the Sunday Mail for advance notification, and if you are unable to register online, mail registrations are accepted until early August or in person at the Race Office up until 6.30pm on Friday 30th August. You can sign up for their newsletter here (scroll down to the bottom of the help page).
The 'run' is the going up bit, the 'fun' is going down the other side!
Entry fee for the 2014 10km run/walk is yet to be announced, but to give you an idea, in 2013 it was $36, and the 5km run/walk was $30. Children in strollers (and there are plenty of them) are free. You can also enter as a corporate or social team if you have a minimum of five competitors. There are prizes for fastest team times and top team and individual fundraisers, and even for the best dressed group.
If running is not your thing but you want to join in the fun, there is plenty of need for volunteers - from course marshalls to drink station attendants, working in the recovery areas and as timing assistants. More information about volunteers can be found here or by registering as a volunteer by calling (07) 3139 0397.