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10 June, 2021

Running a life saver for Mackay Marina Run participant

SWEAT was pouring down the faces of these runners as they enjoyed the 2021 Mackay Marina Run.

Some got their career started by participating in a simple jog in the park, which soon changed their lives forever.

One runner who turned away from drinking was Robert Brand, who came all the way up to the Mackay Marina Run with some of his friends.

“I was actually invited up here from friends from Brisbane. I didn’t actually know they did a run up here – I thought it was a pretty cool idea,” Mr Brand said.

“I do running for mental health really. It helps me relax and unwind.

“It’ been the last five years I’ve been doing it.”

He said that it was important for people to find a healthy way to deal with stress.

“Alcohol wasn’t good for my health and all the rest of it. I started doing park runs and progressed from there,” he said.

“My doctor actually recommended it. I was overweight, so I had to lose weight and she suggested I start doing some exercising.

“I found a group of likeminded people that sort of went ‘do you want to do this and do you want to do that?’.

“We ended up in Mackay doing a half-marathon. I found it to be a great group because you get that social interaction with a different group of people.”

Event coordinator Chrissy Evangelou said this was the 12th year for the run and had received great community feedback for 2021.

“People love it: It’s fast and flat and it’s a good one for people to get a personal best at. The biggest thing is that it’s a very big community event,” Ms Evangelou said.

“The community comes together – we have people increasing their health and wellbeing from all the training and that.”

Ms Evangelou explained they had five different runs: 21km, 8km, 5km, 3km kids and the 5km corporate challenge.

The Mackay Marina Run was a family friendly event, as some parents ran with their children.

“It was started to raise some money for the Leukemia Foundation, with less than 200 people in it. Today, we had over 3000 people in it,” she said.

“The running community is really friendly (and) they support each other. It’s an awesome day out.

“Health and wellbeing is always very important for me, that’s an important part of it that I see so many people changing their lives once they start a bit of running.”

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