500 take to the starting line in Lismore fun run

IN the time it takes to buy a cup of coffee, some keen competitors in the 13th annual Darrel Chapman Fun Run knocked over the three-kilometre course at Southern Cross University in Lismore yesterday morning.

A sea of coloured shirts and bobbing heads spilled out of the university's entry way, with 501 runners and walkers making their way up the first hill of the course.

Some were more eager than others. The fastest man conquered the course in 10 minutes. Some pushed their toddlers in off-road strollers and others chose the more leisurely option of walking the dog.

A team of women from Healthy Inspirations in Lismore were 'inspired' to enter this year's event.

One of the weight loss centre's first members, Sue Crowley, said the fun run was just what she needed.

"I've been a bit down lately as my partner died a month ago," the 63-year-old said.

"The girls at Healthy Inspirations have been so helpful to me and I just wanted to come out and support them today.

"You get to know everybody when you're working out - it's a good social group.

"I sat around and felt sorry for myself for the last month, and today I thought it was time to get back into it."

Team-mate Jenny Jurd said she had only been going to the centre for about eight months and would never have considered entering a fun run six months ago.

"This is all new to me, but I also work in the children's ward at the Base Hospital and they have a team here today, which just inspired me," Ms Jurd said.

"I've lost 27kg since joining the centre and I don't think I could've walked the three kilometres before - I would've died from a heart attack!"

Last year's event operations co-ordinator, Julia Loennendung, took part in this year's event to see what it was like on the other side.

"Last year I spent all my time organising the fun run, so this year I thought I'd give it a go. All the lecturers last year did the six-kilometre course, so I wanted to see what the track was like."

Organiser Katie Hanna said she expected the money raised from the day to exceed $8000, which would go to Our Kids.

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