11 July 2019

Fun Run's future doubtful following Canberra Times sale

| Tim Gavel
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Region Media has learned that the Canberra Times Fun Run may not take place this year. File photo.

Region Media has learned that the Canberra Times Fun Run may not take place this year. File photo.

There is widespread uncertainty in the running community over the future of one of Canberra’s best loved community events.

Following the sale of The Canberra Times earlier this year, it’s been impossible to confirm whether The Canberra Times Fun Run will proceed in just over two months’ time.

For the past 43 years, the Fun Run has been one of Canberra’s most loved community events as people from all walks of life take part. In recent times the Fun Run has been effectively coordinated by Fairfax Events but with The Canberra Times now under new ownership there is considerable doubt within the running community over its future.

Region Media was first alerted to the possibility that the Fun Run may not take place in 2019 by runners who had tried to find out the date for this year’s event. They were directed onto the official website, which only displays the highlights of the 2018 event. For those looking to register early, this is clearly impossible to do.

Avid runners within the Canberra community say they are also in the dark. Region Media has been reliably informed that the YMCA Runners Club was approached about taking over the coordination of the event this year. They are unable to do so because they are already involved in the organisation of the Capital to the Coast event in August.

Furthermore, the ACT Government also says that there is nothing in this year’s calendar claiming a date for the Canberra Times Fun Run.

Omnipresent in this city for as long as most people can remember, the Canberra Times Fun Run has been an iconic community event, characterised by goodwill and inclusivity. The sight of over 4,000 people running or walking along Adelaide Avenue from Philip to Rond Terrace is an image that represents Canberra in a positive light, as a city that is active and involved.

The event has raised funds for many charities in Canberra including the Heart Foundation, and Cure Cancer. Over its 43 years, the fundraising tally for the Fun Run now reaches well into the millions. One of the event’s long-term charity partners, the Heart Foundation, is yet to hear if it will take place at its usual time in September.

Region Media also contacted a number of charities, many of whom expressed concern over the event’s future. In the past, charities had been able to coordinate their fundraising with the Fun Run. Queries made to The Canberra Times are awaiting a response.

Canberra can ill afford to lose events such as the Fun Run, which add vibrancy to the city, encourage physical activity and raise much-needed funds for charity. The hope is of course that if it doesn’t go ahead in 2019 it will be resurrected in 2020.

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