Martin Runs Cootamundra

Martin Runs Through Coota

Every year, Martin Murley raises money to prevent youth homelessness at Run Melbourne. He couldn’t make it in 2016, so he mapped his own country run.

Martin has taken part in Run Melbourne on behalf of Kids Under Cover for the last 4 years, with 2016 set to be his fifth year. Unfortunately, Martin could not be in Melbourne on the weekend that Run Melbourne was taking place, he had a family celebration to attend and needed to be in the NSW country town of Cootamundra. That was not going to stop Martin from taking on the 10km event and raising funds for Kids Under Cover.

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He mapped both a 10km and a 5km course, taking in some of Cootamundra’s most notable locales, including Bradman’s Birthplace, Albert Park, Cootamundra Station, the Arts Centre Cootamundra, Cootamundra Pool and the old Cootamundra Hospital. With the start finish point at Jubilee Park across the road from his wife’s family home, Martin started recruiting family members to join him.

With tongue firmly in cheek, dubbed ‘Run Cootamundra’, the event was held at 0800 on Sunday 24 July, the same day as Run Melbourne. Members and descendants of one of Cootamundra’s oldest families, the Meale Family, took part, with family members from Cootamundra, Frampton, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne assembling in the small Riverina town to celebrate the 70th birthday of Mrs Lindsay Baber (nee Meale) on the Saturday night, and the unofficial Run Cootamundra on the Sunday morning.

Two runners took on the 10km route, two the 5km route, and 8 undertook a 5km walk all kitted out in the Kids Under Cover running t-shirts and caps.

It was officially zero degrees at commencement, and while the clear blue sky and crisp morning air made for chilly but otherwise ideal running conditions, participants had to take care avoiding patches of black ice on some pedestrian bridge crossings over the Muttama Creek, which was swollen following recent heavy rain.

Two ponies accompanied the 10km runners for part of the course, and an escort car shadowed the runners, taking photos on the course and providing refreshments as required.

“it was just brilliant”, Martin said. “What started out as a wild idea ended up becoming an enormous family event. There were over 30 family members in town, and after a big 70th birthday celebration the night before, there they were, in freezing temperature at 8am on a Sunday. Some ran, some walked, some rode, some organised; we had ‘event marshals’ on horseback, bicycles and even a support car. Thankfully the Coota streets are quiet on a Sunday morning!”

Wanting to complete the run in under 60 mins, Martin and running mate Sam Gill crossed the finish line in 56 minutes 25 seconds. Martin absolutely smashed his fundraising goal of $700, with his total currently standing at $1700.

Well done Martin and everyone who took part in Run Cootamundra – Read more in the February edition of Runners World Magazine  RW Feb HumanRace

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