Australia 17 June: Shepparton, Vic - Castlemaine, Vic

Running in the countryside

Starting at the newly-installed Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom plaque in Shepparton, our first runner was set off.

As the rest of the team was making their way back to the car, they were invited into the Shepparton Information Centre to meet Mootilda…

... one of 100 3D life-size cows scattered over the Greater Shepparton area.

Moooving Art pays homage to the strength of the dairy industry in Greater Shepparton.

As it was a Saturday with no official ceremonies it was a big but unrushed running day.

The girls team started with the first 35 km out of Shepparton.

On our way we met some of the real cows that are scattered around Greater Shepparton.

This first stint brought us right into Murchison, a lovely rural town.

Here we met some of the children who were playing in the park.

After farewelling 2 members of the boys team, catching the train from Shepparton to Melbourne, we prepared ourselves for a big day of running with 4 boys to cover 90 km as our share of the daily total to Castlemaine.
Our team drove to Murchison where we commenced running south on a seldom used road paralleling the Goulburn River.

This was delightful running and thoroughly enjoyed by one of our Mongolian team runners who started with a 10 km warmup. His younger friend then proceeded to do the same. The rest of us warmed up by throwing the frisbee.

After a delightful dirt road section, surrounded by native trees ...

... we reached a more major road to Heathcote. We now had some passing traffic to wave to, one vehicle every other minute.

By lunch time Bayarkhuu had completed 30 km and Sarankhuu over 28 km. The ironic thing was they were both fresher than me! With the team all working together we made it to our finishing place in Redesdale by mid-afternoon and drove on to Castlemaine, our stopping place for the night.

Meanwhile the girls team, having had a coffee to fuel our next section, had driven the 90 km being run by the boys, undulating and sometimes dirt, to our next start location.

The air was so crisp and clear today and the scenery so beautiful and soothing that we hardly noticed each of our 5 km stints; a number of us surprised when we saw the van so soon.

There weren’t many other users on the road, who tooted and waved us on our journey.

One Harley rider stopped to have his photo taken with the Peace Torch.

As we slowly made our way into Castlemaine and our finish location for the day, two of the girls jumped out to complete our 74 km day, running together to the house of our good friend Namanita Muss – the host for our girls team for the evening. Our boys team are also being accommodated at another friend's house nearby.

Namanita not only has so kindly opened up her beautiful house for the team to stay but also spent the day cooking a delicious evening meal for us.

Much gratitude Namanita, for your warmth and hospitality!