With the Orroroo Markets attracting about 28 stalls and popup food shops having their first outing on the Second Street median strip, a community celebration offered by SA Water for the arrival of piped Murray water to the township and the 12th Orroroo Half Marathon attracting 115 runners participating in all three distances, it was a very busy morning in Orroroo on Sunday, March 31.
A cool start greeted the early runners and a head wind tested the legs early on as they climbed the hill on Price Maurice Road going past the hospital.
A field of 32 runners and walkers completed the 21K distance, one of the biggest fields so far, and a competitive time was run by Mark Bloomfield (1.21.40) from Woodside in the Adelaide Hills and Orla Timmons (1.28.34) from Port Augusta.
Frank Parkes and Richard Jones from Port Augusta, both ran the full race dressed as clowns, no mean feat in the windy conditions.
They raised a good deal of laughter and cheering as they ran.
The fancy dress theme was carried through by the starter, Po of the Teletubbies, who looked suspiciously like Peter Amey.
Father and daughter duo, Peter and Kylie Osmond, blitzed the 21 K Walk in 2 hours 33 minutes 33 seconds which was a male race record for the event.
Special guest at this year's Half Marathon was Jess Trengove, Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games Marathon competitor, who ran the 10K run.
Jess appeared to effortlessly complete the distance in 38.29 minutes, a race record for the Female 10 K Run.
Anthony Travers from Whyalla won the male 10 K Run in 47.14. A field of 29 competitors competed in the 10K.
There was a large field of 10K walkers, most keeping a brisk pace and returning in 1:30 hours or more.
The 5K usually attracts many school students, however this year numbers were down, but Jack Clarke ran a winning time of 21.35 to claim the secondary student prize in the 5K run. Rosie McMurray from Clare won the female secondary student race in 26.14minutes.
Adult winners in the 5K were Anthony Smith from Moonta (23.25) and Mel Slimming from Orroroo (25.08).
The 5K walk attracts family groups and much social banter and laughter, but Clarissa Shephard (Secondary Student, Orroroo) and Barb Spencer (Adelaide) stepped out and both returned in 45.41minutes winning the race in a draw.
The Second Street Scramble for students under 11 years with eight competitors was necessarily shortened due to the congestion of the main street by the market visitors and vehicles.
We will rectify this problem next year as this is a popular run with the kids!
SA Water attended with their "Quench Bench" and gave away re-usable drink bottles which could be filled with Orroroo's new tap water.
They also gave away free cupcakes to the public, and spent time talking to locals about the new water supply and answered any issues they had.
All runners were given the new bottles as they finished the race.
The many market stalls attracted many of the Half Marathon visitors, and the main street looked very festive with bunting and stalls.
Visitors gave positive feedback on the market which seemed to be generating much business.
Despite the lower numbers of local runners, we were happy to welcome an increase in the number of visiting runners including Jess Trengove, and others from around the state and two from overseas.