Canberra Walking Festival
Now in it’s 25th year, the walk begins at Charles Sturt University in Barton, with a series of walks along Canberra’s iconic Centenary trail for the first time.
On Sunday the route takes in the surrounds of the lake, on a beautiful day for walkers.
Free bus transport is offered in the morning to get walkers to their respective starting lines, and volunteer Hayden Fox of Isaacs says that this year the route takes full advantage of Canberra’s setting.
“You go from the bush aspects with the centenary trail which bursts into the suburbs then back into bush again then, and then we’ve got the lake tomorrow which is just iconic in terms of the institutions around the lake the story of the lake. This time of year it’s just picture perfect.”
Manning the position at a checkpoint on Mugga Lane, we watch as people steadily wander up to gulp down some water before pushing on up a hill into the pines.
“It’s been fairly hectic at times here, people charging through and getting a refresh on water and cordial and gummy bears, it’s been great,” says Hayden.
Held over several days, the event comprises a series of walks from the short 5klm up to the full 42klms, taking in a two day medal walk.
The smaller five klm walk is short enough for our over 75’s to get out there, but really it’s an event for the whole family.
Noah, Ann, Ian and Ruby from Wright took part in the 11klm event for the first time, but say they’d probably give it another go.
“It gets everybody out on a Saturday, which is kind of rare,” says Ann.
Ian chimes in. “It reminds us of the Hash house Harriers up in Brunei. You see the place in a different light, it’s a different thing walking.”
Of course, an event like this could not get off the ground without the firm support of many volunteers who take part, not that too many of them seem to mind.
Mel Davidson from Kaleen has been doing this for a long time, but he doesn’t look like he will be stopping any time soon.
“My wife checked this morning; we’ve both been doing it for 18 years. Caught up with us in our mid-fifties but we’re still enjoying it.”
His job is to ride between walkers on a bike, making sure there are no stragglers or problems in what feels like the last heat of the year.
“I love this job, because you’re passing whole groups and some will say g’day, some want a chat, some want a dink, there’s generally just a good atmosphere.”
The event was a hit, with some three hundred odd walkers enjoying some of the last great weather of the season as they took in the picturesque sights of the Capital.
By Sam Kromar