Defence personnel based in Western Australia have stopped traffic in its tracks, closing the causeway to Garden Island in the name of fitness and wellbeing.
The largest Australian Defence Force Walk to Work and Causeway Classic Fun Run was held during the spring school holidays allowing hundreds of Defence members to enjoy a morning of family, fitness, food and festivities.
The causeway linking the Rockingham mainland to the Island was closed to make way for the hive of activity when walkers and competitive runners took on more than six undulating kilometres across the two bridges to finish at the HMAS Stirling oval.
Fresh fruit, coffee, bacon and eggs sizzling on barbeques welcomed the finishers to a colourful carnival-like atmosphere where Commanding Officer Stirling Captain Brian Delamont acknowledged the spectacular success of the annual event.
“Organisation and execution was excellent, and it was a great day for all Stirling personnel and their families,” Captain Delamont said.
“The large number of support personnel working on the day for food, traffic management and security made sure everything went smoothly.
“It is the major annual event for the base and I think this was our largest so far,” he said.
‘Billy the Blood Drop’ and a team from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service completed the event using the occasion to create awareness of the need for more blood donations for the 2017 Defence Blood Challenge.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service Community Relations Officer Gina Tracey said there was still time for Defence members and their families to book blood donation appointments to contribute to the Defence Challenge.
“In only just five weeks Stirling has already reached 95 donations, saving over 280 lives which is a huge effort so far.
“The Defence Blood Challenge provides wonderful support to our patients in need,” Mrs Tracey said.
The fitter ‘guns’ smashed through the kilometres on Dampier Road at a lung-sapping pace with the winning honours presented to Able Seaman Clearance Diver Joshua Hilliard finishing in a time of 25 minutes flat and Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Stephanie Went winning the female category in a time of 30 minutes 47 seconds.
The event provided a great chance to promote the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veterans’ Health Week between 21-29 October – as a reminder to Australian Defence Force members and their families to improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of themselves and their friends.