More challenges and fun for everyone

April 19, 2024 BY

Thumbs up: These runners gave the scenic track a thumbs up at last year's challenge. Photo: SUPPLIED

MORE events and activities have been added to this year’s O’Keefe Challenge with something for everyone.

The event also incorporates the Heathcote Community Games and runs from Friday 19 April until Sunday 21 April.

The weekend begins with the ‘Light the Trail’ night ride from Axedale to Heathcote along the O’Keefe Rail Trail.

“Participants are encouraged to dress up,” said Challenge president Kerstin Brauns.

“There will be prizes for Best Outfit, Best Lit Bike and an Encouragement Award.”

On Sunday, the marathon will commence at 8am with the first finishers expected at approximately 10.35am.

“Numerous other events will begin throughout the morning,” said Ms Brauns.

“These will include the 5 and 10km events, the half-marathon, Superhero Dash and Kids Dash.

Walk against Dementia: The 5km Connallys Run/Walk against Dementia raises funds for the Heathcote Dementia Alliance. Photo: SUPPLIED


“I hope everyone will bring along family, friends and neighbours of all ages to enjoy the day making great memories locally.”

“And this year we have introduced a 1.5km Quiz Walk which will be a scavenger style hunt around Heathcote.

“Teams will have a series of clues to find by meandering around the Heathcote township.

“Everyone is welcome to participate. You don’t have to feel like you’re in training for the Olympics, it’s all about fun and fitness.”

Event organiser Nigel Preston said everyone is excited after lots of planning and preparation.

“We began preparing last November and have a great volunteer committee,” he said.

“Although the marathon is the flagship event, there is something for everyone.

“The relay events bring in groups from lots of other areas, including Lalor, Shepparton and Mitchell Shire. “It is a good chance for everyone to get involved, as participants or as part of the crowd cheering them on.”

The Heathcote Community Games, one of the original founding partners of the challenge, will run in conjunction with the O’Keefe Challenge.

“We will have non-stop free fun,” said Heathcote Community House executive officer Vicki Forde.

“Last year’s community games were a blast for everyone who attended.

“This year, thanks to the generosity of Community Bank Heathcote & District, the fun will continue with even more things to entertain everyone at Barrack Reserve.

“Bendigo Bank Piggy will be there along with other mascots with giveaways and lots of activities.

Giveaways: Bendigo Bank Piggy will welcome visitors to the Community Games with free giveaways . Photo: SUPPLIED