Hundreds take part in final edition of Duncan’s Run

They’re off: The start of the 21km run with men’s winner Corey Milner (2171) ahead of women’s winner Kylie Murray (2143). photographs megan harper - burning harp photography


THERE was mixed emotions following the final running of Duncan’s Run the previous Saturday.
Many waited long hours to see the last of the 100 kilometre field finish their ultra-distance
It was the final “signing off” of the event after eight occasions across 10 years.
Following Duncan’s death in a road accident in early 2013, the inaugural event was held in
December that year.
The 2015 running was cancelled in the aftermath of the bushfires and in 2020,
coronavirus intervened.
For the family and friends of Duncan Orr, as race organisers and volunteers, or as participants
in one of the trail events, it was an emotional occasion – the final farewell to an iconic event.
A total of 320 trail runners tackled, for the final time, one of the 6, 21, 50 or 100 kilometre events, held across the day and into the small hours of the morning along the trails of the Tarra-Bulga National Park.
As an indication of the magnitude of the event, 80 volunteers carried out various tasks at the
Balook start and finish area and around the 50km circuit that was navigated twice by the
100km field.
Outright winner: Molly Irvine, right, was outright first in the 6km event with Ruth Hodge the second woman finisher.
After seeing off the 100km participants at 6am, Race Director Owen Townsend, in an interview with ABC radio, said, “the weather is cool, misting rain and foggy”.
For the later starters the early hilltop weather cleared to welcome a warm sunny morning.
Following staggered starts the runners in the shorter events began to finish mid-morning and
early afternoon. Daniel Furmston and Tracy Feiner were first home in the 50km run, as the
100km runners continued on to do a second lap of the Tarra-Bulga National Park.
Danny Gamble was the first 100km finisher with Katherine Macmillan the first woman in
outright third place.
But ultra-distance events are all about finishing, and Stephen Renehan, Glenn Crawford and Glen Smith were thrilled to complete their first 100km trail run ultras.
“We were so thankful to have Duncan’s parents wait until after midnight to see us finish. It was a fitting way to farewell the event. Thank you and the DR team for making this event a reality,” Maffra resident Crawford said.
Ian Twite, a friend and training partner of Duncan, said, “in 2013, because of injury, I volunteered and did the manual timekeeping. Here I witnessed the true spirit of Duncan Orr in Darrel Cross’s efforts to complete the 100km that he never planned, or trained, to run. When Darrel realised no Traralgon Harriers were running the 100km event he said he had to do it. Duncan would have done it and it would have been a shame if no Harrier attempted the 100km. It was a very courageous effort”.
The last time: Traralgon Harriers’ president Phill Mayer with Duncan’s parents, Helen and
Ray Orr, at the finish line of the final Duncan’s Run.
Traralgon Harriers president Phillip Mayer said: “Ray and Helen Orr (Duncan’s parents)
should be justifiably proud of the work they did to bring this event to fruition. The work that so many people have put in over the years, to build the event into what it was on the weekend, is epic. It is a year of planning, permits, meetings, organising volunteers, logistics and fundraising, so it is understandable why this Duncan’s Run was ‘One last time’. But the feeling, the spirit and the emotion made the event a fitting tribute to Duncan”.
It is anticipated and hoped that a similar series of trail run events will be conducted next year.
Looking fresh: Greg Semmler, left, Georgia Callaway and Ian Cornthwaite are all smiles after finishing the 50km trail run.
Father and son: Giuseppe Marino and his wife Emma ran the 21km half marathon while
their son Jack ran an excellent time in the 6km event.
Podium finish: The 21km women placegetters Kay Arrowsmith (second), Kylie Murray (first) and Bryanna Mifsud (third) flanked by Duncan Orr’s parents Helen and Ray.
Happy finishers: Some of the 166 6km participants get together to celebrate after finishing their