From the grandstand – Harwood Hustle

Col Hennessy | The race is on! What race you say. The race over the new bridge at Harwood. I read in the paper last week how well progress was going and how it would be ready ahead of time and certainly ahead of when the roads are ready on the approaches. Well, this will give some clubs or service groups plenty of time still to put together an attractive package to have a fun run of sorts over the bridge and maybe a swim across the river at the same time. The builders of the bridge (Acciona-Ferrovial) have lauded the local businesses particularly the Harwood Marine facilities so I think it would be appropriate to ask for some sizeable donation to fund this event and allocate prizemoney. It would probably be a one off package and for that reason they could be even more generous. The Pacifico office at Harwood has given me the following details. The race over the bridge proper would be 1.5 kilometres, which means it would be all over in less than ten minutes for even the local serious runner. The swim leg is about 500 metres and that would take a little more but not much. There could be a bonus if the swimmer beats the runner. Now all this is quite possible because its usual practice for the local townsfolk to be given the opportunity to walk over the bridge before it is officially opened to traffic. It may even be on the same day when all the politicians will be there for the compulsory photo in hard hats etc. Back to the race itself. The biggest prizemoney would be for the open division but just as importantly we could have divisions for school children (primary and secondary divisions). Then there would be the ‘Masters’ age group as well as representatives from all the football and cricket teams in the Lower Clarence. Is this getting you interested? If so take it up with some club officials or take it to the service groups in your area. It could be a good money earner and put your club or town on the map. I would be more than happy to help in any way as I have done this sort of thing before. The only thing I balk at is that when I last coordinated something like this it was before you had things like Risk Analysis surveys, liability insurance, local government regulations etc. All we had was police escort. I still work on the motto of “Better (easier) to ask forgiveness than seek permission”. My last great idea is not dead either. While in Canberra on Anzac Day at the War Memorial I took the opportunity to step in-between Brendan Nelson and Kerry Stokes (Channel 7 boss) while there was a quiet moment and follow up on my letter re a soccer match between Turkey and Australia on Anzac Day. They will follow it up they assured me, so who knows.