Runners raise cash for health

Colac’s Run Colac competitors, pictured at the event’s starting line, raised about $8000 for Colac Area Health and Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital.

COLAC Area Health and Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital will share about $8000 thanks to Colac and district sportspeople.

Between 400 and 450 runners took to the running track for the annual Run Colac fun run with money raised going toward health services.

While entrant numbers lacked in the lead up to the event, co-organiser Sarah Van Es said “quite a lot” of the runners registered on the night at Colac’s Botanic Gardens.

“We must have had close to 150 to 200 people turn up on the night,” she said.

Run Colac 10-kilometre winner Jim Ennor, left, and five-kilometre Matt O’Dowd run by Colac’s lake foreshore.

“The event went really well; we were a lot more organised than last year when we did it all in about three weeks.

“This year we probably matched our numbers – maybe 50 less, but not much.

“But everything went really well and everyone had a good night.”

A successful first run in 2011, which raised more than $5000 for Queensland and Victorian flood victims, motivated organisers to return the event this year and spawned a host of other fun runs in the district.

“It’s a really good community event, getting behind Colac Area Health as well as the Royal Children’s Hospital which has helped so many Colac kids,” Van Es said.

“So it’s a cause that everyone is happy to get behind.”

Colac veteran runner Jim Ennor won the showcase 10-kilometre event in a blistering 39 minutes, while Melbourne’s Kirsten Long took the honours in the women’s category in 47.27.

District sportsman Matt O’Dowd blitzed the competition in the five-kilometre race by almost a minute with a time of 20.37, while Colac Little Athletics’ young gun Ellie Loughnane won the women’s five-kilometre in 25.09.

Ennor, who works with the event’s organisers at WHK, said it was a worthy cause to support.

“It’s a good cause but it’s also a community event, you’ve got a lot of football teams, a lot of people that just want to walk, a lot of people pushing prams,” he said.

“And there’s a lot of chat on the track too, it’s a really good community thing for Colac.”

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