A lifetime of running barefoot around the hills of Palmwoods in Main Arm is one way to keep fit and train to do the charge up Mount Chincogan.
When the Chinny Charge re-opened in 2017, one local family were back in force, with four generations on the starting line.
Kevin and Rosemary Archibald had run the race many times before it stopped in 2001, and when the race was re-launched by the Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce, they were keen to do it again.
‘We were driving into town from Palmwoods. Kevin was in his thirties and playing rugby league at the time, and I suggested he run for the first time,’ said Rosemary.
Rosemary said, ‘In my forties, I’d recovered from Ross River Fever although the doctors said I would never get over that one’.
‘But I started playing touch football when I was around 40, and then I decided to run it with my daughter Maree, who had done it a couple of times before. Then we ran it until it finished.’
Now in their seventies – and following a knee operation for Kevin – they aren’t running at the moment, but Kevin hasn’t given up hope of running it again at some point in the future.
This year they are still looking forward to supporting their kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren, who will be joining the race again this year.
Kevin says that if he runs again, he will do it in bare feet like he’s always done.
‘I took my shoes off about halfway up the mountain,’ said Rosemary.
‘I feel safer running without shoes on, and Kevin has run barefoot all the way since the seventies.’
This year’s Chinny Charge will be taking place on Saturday September 21, and for the first time, you can book in for the competitive run or just to enjoy the walk up the mountain.
Organiser and Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce president Jenelle Stanford says the entry fee has been kept low for the non-competitive entries just to cover costs.
Hurry, places are limited so book online.
The first woman and man across the line will receive prize money of $500 each while second and third will get $300 and $200 respectively. The Echo and Chemsave Pharmacy will be awarding prizes to the first three local women and men across the line with $250, $175 and $75 prizes.
There are a number of awards including the Reg Burns shield awarded to first oldest female and Dr Suresh shield for the first oldest man across the line.
The Kevin Moran Memorial Shield is awarded for special effort and encouragement of others. The shield was donated in his memory by Kevin’s closest friends and adopted family – the Davis family of Main Arm. Kevin was a man who liked a challenge and had run the Chincogan Charge numerous times even after he required kidney dialysis, a kidney transplant and coronary bypass surgery.