Some of the Woolgoolga runners celebrate after their run with the Queen?s Baton Relay yesterday. From left: Gordon Ab- bott, Ju
Some of the Woolgoolga runners celebrate after their run with the Queen?s Baton Relay yesterday. From left: Gordon Ab- bott, Ju

The experience of a lifetime

By MEL MARTIN

IT was an enthusiastic bunch of Queen's Baton Relay runners who saw the baton off at Woolgoolga, with every one of them reporting the relay had been an experience of a lifetime.

"Running through my hometown was such an honour," Justin Willis said.

"It felt exhilarating, especially to see people come out and cheer us on."

And the Woolgoolga community certainly did that, putting all their support behind their mates.

"I was born and raised here, so I felt privileged to run on the main street," said Rodney Koopmans, although he won't be running for Prime Minister despite his work colleagues flashing a sign that read 'Rodney for PM' as he ran past.

An early-morning smoking ceremony in Coffs Harbour started the day, with runners taking the baton through Coffs Harbour before it headed to the Big Banana for a rest stop, then to Woolgoolga.

And whether they ran, walked, or did a bit of both, the runners all said it was an enormous buzz.

"I wouldn't run to the letterbox and back, but I ran the whole way, it was a huge adrenalin rush," Fiona Sodeau said.

"I enjoyed every minute of it," World War II veteran Keith Sisson said.

"I was thrilled, completely elated, and very honoured," Pamela Woods said.

A huge logistical exercise, the relay went smoothly through our region, and runners were impressed with the organisation.

"The team really looked after us the whole time, they made us feel really good," Paul O'Halloran said.



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