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All revved up for the Chinny Charge

In it for fitness and fun, Mullum run enthusiast Kim Smith had a great time on the mountain and came away grinning. Photo Jeff Dawson.

In it for fitness and fun, Mullum run enthusiast Kim Smith had a great time on the mountain and came away grinning. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Close to 500 runners and walkers took the rare opportunity to scale Mount Chincogan on the weekend for the reawakened Chincogan Charge.

It was the first time the event had been run in 16 years and at a warm 27 degrees the Charge wasn’t for the faint hearted.

Starting from the Mullumbimby swimming pool – that was built with the funds from the first Chinny Charges – the race took the runners up to the top of the mountain and back down to cross the finish line at the post office in Mullumbimby. 

The previous fastest record of the Chincogan Charge was 29 minutes and 51 seconds by Matthew Kaluda from Manilla in 1994. It was broken on Saturday by Benjamin Duffus who ran the race in a mere 29 minutes and 11 seconds, taking out the first prize of $500 donated by the Mullumbimby ex-services club. 

‘It was a great day,’ said organiser said organiser and Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce president Jenelle Stanford.

‘Everyone did such an amazing job,’

Second place in the men’s competition went to Mark Bourne with a time of 30.13 and third place went to local Suffolk runner Matt Slee with 31.28. Matt also took out first place as first local male runner to cross the line, second local place went to Simon Peter-Burn followed by Ferris Gump as the third local male runner.

The first female to cross the line was Holly McKarthy from Geebung who at the age of 15 managed to come in at 46 minutes and 38 seconds. Holly’s grandfather and family are from Mullumbimby, none-the-less this didn’t qualify her for local status. Holly was followed by Jody Cottam at 47 minutes and 54 seconds and third place was taken by Anne Brooker at 49.44.

Local runners

The Echo donated the prize money for local runners and the first local female to cross the line was Sorrell Mills followed by Sarah Vial-Harris then Sarah Burke in third position. 

At the presentation in the park next to the Civic Centre in Mullumbimby it was revealed that the oldest female to run and finish the race was Niseema Taylor and the oldest male was Kieth Miller. 

‘Everyone put in such a huge effort to make the day a success,’ continued Janellle.

‘The fireies did an amazing job looking after everyone on the mountain. Though one of the biggest complaints I got was that there was only one of the Fire and Rescue calendar boys was on duty,’ Janelle said with a laugh. 

The Kevin Moran memorial shield, that is awarded for special effort and encouragement of others, this year went to local Byron Bay runner Geoff Bensley for all the effort and help he put into helping organise the event.

‘He was always there and available to lend a hand when we need it before, during and after the run,’ continued Janelle.

Marina Kiehne – who guessed 29 minutes and 13 seconds – was the closest guess to the final time of 29 minutes and 11 seconds. Marina is pictured with Daniel Tiffin, local manager of the Mullumbimby IGA, receiving her $200 voucher donated by the Mullumbimby IGA. Photo supplied.

Marina Kiehne – who guessed 29 minutes and 13 seconds – was the closest guess to the final time of 29 minutes and 11 seconds. Marina is pictured with Daniel Tiffin, local manager of the Mullumbimby IGA, receiving her $200 voucher donated by the Mullumbimby IGA. Photo supplied.

Best guess

The competition to guess the fastest time was won by Marina Kiehne who guessed 29 minutes and 13 seconds. Marina has won the $200 voucher donated by the Mullumbimby IGA so happy shopping!

Only one person was injured on the mountain and the event was declared a success with many people keen to see the Chincogan Fiesta happening alongside the run again in the future. 

‘There are a number of things we learnt during this first run that will ensure the event is even better next year,’ said Janelle.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve the event or would like to get involved in how things should be organised next year then pop into the Mullumbimby Newsagents and have a chat to Janelle about your ideas and suggestions.

Organisers would like to remind everyone that the run takes place across private property and was only open for the offical run on Saturday. The route is not open to the public at any other time.


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Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

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