Hello and welcome to Monday everyone and the promise of a fulfilling and productive week ahead!It was such a blessing to yesterday; share Anzac Day with so many special people in our lives at what will become our Annual Gen Run Anzac Day ‘Run as One’ event! Joining forces with so many friends, old and new, from other recreational running clubs is something I have been wanting to do for such a long time now and to see it come to fruition and thrive in the way that it did yesterday was just such a joy to see and be involved in. For those who were unable to make it this year I encourage you to put it on the agenda for next year! The Sugarloaf Reservoir was such a perfect location for us all to gather, and as the cars rolled in, people mingled, introductions were made, familiar faces were seen, squad colours displayed and a sense of community and belonging spread throughout the growing group. The Baw Baw Runners arrived in their fabulously vintage blue and white ‘Party’ bus, they had travelled 2 hours to join us from Warragul and were caffeinated and ready to run!Just before 9am when all had arrived we gathered atop the hill where the kangaroos grazed and the view across the valley swept out before us. In a circle we listened to a reading of the Anzac Ode and fell silent as The Last Post played, almost hauntingly, through the speaker, the familiar notes of the bugle tune floating away through the still air. As we reflected, the sounds of the Australian bush serenaded us as birdsong and the rustle of gum leaves reminded us all that has been sacrificed so that we may enjoy them, together, in this moment.

Many years ago; Steve and I travelled to Belgium and walked far out of the town of Ypres to a small, unassuming grass burial plot for fallen soldiers. Here lay William Etheredge, Steve’s Great Great Uncle who had served as a stretcher bearer in the First World War in both France and Belgium. Killed at the young age of 21 by shell-fire, we felt honoured to pay respects to him and his comrades. It was a humbling and somber experience. William’s family were sent all of his personal effects after his death, including his diary which was beautifully kept over his years away from home on the front-line. My favourite entry; that of the Christmas Day cricket match between the Australian Army and the German enemy. A cease-fire called on December 25th when they put their weapons and differences aside to feel human again for a few hours in a friendly game of cricket. How strange war is…

Back to Sugarloaf! After our little reflection and moment of quiet thought and gratitude, off we ran! Led out by Tori who is the ‘Local Legend’ we took on the 15km loop in the recommended anti-clockwise direction. This takes in some lovely single trails before hitting the dam wall and some breathtaking views! Over you go to the other side to reconnect with the trails and some pretty significant camber! Great for ankle and knee stability practice! Rolling along around the waterside before the first (and really the only) significant climb. When you think you’re at the top, you’re about halfway! Perfect for the uphill lover in me!!! Then on to some lovely soft and well-maintained grassy paths as you roll back down and then continue on very runnable undulating sections for pretty much the remainder of the loop. Arriving at the yacht club carpark you are just a stone’s-throw away from returning to the Sugarloaf Picnic Area from where we began. Runners gradually assembled, full of trail-running endorphins, happily chatting away and recounting all their adventures along the way! The sun was out, the vibes were high, and the cheers continued to flow until the last runners arrived, happy and spent. We were all more than thrilled to have satisfied our love of the trails, to have met new running buddies, made memories along the way, and delighted in the thought of coffees and brunch to come! It really was the perfect definition of the ‘Happy Place’. Thank you to all who came from Gen Run, Baw Baw Runners, Melbourne Front Runners and a few other squads and clubs, to share your Sunday morning with me and your fellow runners. We have plans for these recreational running squads to host a trail running special event once a quarter for future collaborations! Stay tuned! The Gen Run Party bus is coming!!!


Qualified running coach and marathon runner. Proud Founder of Generation Run Running Squad. Join us and become a Gen Runner today!

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