Have you ever seen a fitter looking bunch of elite athletes? The crew from Dunoon about to embark on the Darrell Chapman Fun Run last Sunday.
Have you ever seen a fitter looking bunch of elite athletes? The crew from Dunoon about to embark on the Darrell Chapman Fun Run last Sunday.

They're off and running

The last time I lined up for a fun run I was about 10 years old and full of the vigour of youth, but last Sunday I took part in the Darrell Chapman Fun Run at Southern Cross University.

I am now knocking on the door of 40 and for the past few months I have been getting up before the sun and meeting with a group of fellow Dunoonatics to participate in a fitness class.

Under the watchful eye of Mark Roberts we run and box and put our bodies through a weird kind of torture that is strangely rewarding.

It’s a diverse group; from the lycra-clad super women Lisa and Mel who ride their bikes 10 kilometres down from Dorroughby (and back again afterwards), to other mortals like me who just want to keep fit.

Peer pressure is a great motivator, so when Mark started recruiting people to do the run it was a case of “one in, all in”.

The Darrell Chapman Fun Run raises money for Our Kids and offers participants the option of a 3km or a 6km course. There are families who simply stroll the 3k course with plenty of kids on bikes and a few dog walkers. And then there are the serious fitness fanatics who see the 6km run as little more than a warm up to some triathlon they are training for.

At the beginning I was pacing myself with a kid on a scooter and thought I’d be doing well if I could keep up with him. It might be nearly 30 years since I last did this, but our bodies must have some sort of innate memory because mine seemed to know what to do and was able to keep up a good steady pace towards the front of the pack.

I often come away from one of Mark’s running sessions with a niggling hamstring or ankle injury but my body held up well on Sunday. I left the kid on the scooter way behind and finished 40th amongst a group of middle aged blokes with a respectable time of 27.09.

I still think the term ‘fun run’ might be an oxymoron, but anything that motivates people to get out a participate in some physical activity and have a bit of fun has got to be a good thing.


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