What a day! What a run! Australians for Palestine's second annual Run for Palestine ended up being a fabulous day despite the initial misgivings about the weather after mixed reports of rain, isolated showers with possible sunny periods. We need not have worried: there was no rain and the temperature was just right for the runners.
Families arrived and mingled with the serious runners as everyone waited for the run to commence. And, as the runners and walkers streaked off even the youngest members of families were not to be outdone and were just as determined to make their mark as the older contestants.
This year, there were more than enough T-shirts for everyone with even some family pets sporting the T-shirt's message "Run for Palestinian human rights". It was a wonderful sight seeing participants and onlookers proudly declaring their support for Palestine.
As the runners and walkers crossed the finish line (some brave hearts doing the exhausting two laps), AFP's chef extraordinaire Kamahl Mashni had a mountain of perfectly BBQ'd sausages and veggie hamburgers ready for the hungry crowd, making it a fitting end to a lovely family day out.
The prize giving ceremony saw Amin Abbas (Abu Khalid) again taking out the winner's prize in the men's section with his young son Khalid coming in a close third behind Khaled Mashni who took out second prize. A "Khaled" trifecta indeed!
All the winning results are as follows:
The best accolade Australians for Palestine got from those attending was that this is an event that must be repeated. We are already planning the third run for 2014.
Many thanks have to go to all those who helped to make this such a well organised and effortless event. From the willing volunteers of all ages who registered the participants and handed out the T-shirts and numbers, to the timekeepers, to those who manned the water stations, to the marshals, to the rubbish collectors, to the photographer, to those who ensured everyone had a sausage or hamburger and drink to mark a job well done as well as those sharing in the spirit of the day. Without all of you, the run would not be the great success it is.
We hope that every one of you will encourage many more of your friends and family members to join us next year. From in the hundreds, we would love to see this event burgeon into the thousands. It is a sure fire way of holding up Palestine to the public and of getting Palestine and Palestinians recognised as a vibrant state, culture and community. And more than that, the proceeds will help positive community-building projects in Palestine itself.
Now coming up is the annual Olive Kids dinner on Sunday 1 December 2013. We ask that you all buy your tickets as soon as possible. As many of you know, this is an event not to be missed. It keeps getting bigger and better every year and provides people with the chance of sponsoring the education of severely disadvantaged children in Gaza. It is a great way to end the year and to show your support for Palestine. Tickets at email@example.com.