Former Ipswich mayor John Nugent (right) pounds the pavement for Ipswich Cares.
About 40 walkers and runners – including the 83-year-old former Ipswich mayor John Nugent – made the annual trek from Rosewood to Springfield Central at the weekend.
Each year for the last decade, Ipswich Cares has led a group of walkers and runners across Ipswich to raise awareness and funds for Ipswich Cares and in particular Compassion Australia.
The 50km journey on Saturday started off fresh but was warm and windy as the final walkers finished off at Orion Lagoon about 3pm.
Mr Nugent has done the walk five times and raised more than $10,000 on his own last year.
“I left Rosewood at 5.30am and got to the finishing line at 3.30pm. That’s about 10 hours, including an hour used for rest, drinks and food. It went very well,” he said.
“For the first time I had cramps where you’d never expect to have cramps. I was all good by the next morning and ready to do it again.”
Mr Nugent promised to be back again in 2019 and hoped to raise five figures in sponsorship yet again.
Ipswich Cares president Steve Hodgson said the not-for-profit organisation supports several organisations with the implementation of tangible projects and initiatives of a humanitarian kind.
Mr Hodgson said Ipswich Cares had raised more than $250,000 for humanitarian efforts, including between $45,000 and $50,000 last year from its pre-walk/run fund-raising dinner and donations to the people taking part on the day.
Ipswich Cares made a contribution this year to fund materials for a toilet block for a new school in Borneo, Indonesia, and Mr Hodgson said the organisation was proud to support the project, which included students from Springfield Central High School undertaking a variety of humanitarian activities in Borneo.
It is also funding a Compassion Australia Water Project in two child development centres in Ghana.
“The dinner last week was well attended and was such a beautiful evening. We’re blessed to live in a community of many who give and contribute so much. Together we can achieve so much,” he said.
And, speaking after the 50km walk, his ninth: “Walking the day after can be interesting but I just love the memories and stories as I reflect on the journey”.
Ipswich Cares was launched in 2007 by former Ipswich City Council Division 1 councillor David Morrison with the goal of seeing every business, church and organisation in the city of Ipswich give in an act of generosity to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
Since 2007, Ipswich Cares has been able to reach beyond its local community to help people in the most vulnerable situations, including in Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Bangladesh, North India, Ethiopia, Philippines, Bali and Borneo, Indonesia.
Mr Morrison was there again on Saturday.
“This was my 10th walk. This year I felt a gout flair up on my left foot when we arrived in Ipswich. I kept walking until Redbank until I couldn’t take another step. I completed just over 30 km,” he said.
“The highlight for me was seeing many of the regular walkers and many new walkers doing the walk for the first time. It was also encouraging to see the family of Ipswich Cares inaugural treasurer Louise Clews all walking. Louise passed away last year, we will never forget her support and passion for helping others.”
One of those who ran the distance was Springfield physio/fitness expert Mat Britton, preparing for his own Trail to Triumph, a 250km ultra marathon every October to raise much needed funds for mesothelioma.
Mr Britton’s father Tony lost his battle with the incurable cancer caused by asbestos.
“We had a really great day. Everything went to plan. We had four runners doing TTT, we had a support crew of TTT runners, and members of the Springfield Runners Group joined us. They all ran fantastically well,” Mr Britton said.
For the record, the runners covered 45kms in about 5hrs 14mins.
You can still donate to the Ipswich Cares cause, visit here