Competitors in the 15km leg of the Cane2Coral fun run take their first paces towards their end destination of Bargara.
Competitors in the 15km leg of the Cane2Coral fun run take their first paces towards their end destination of Bargara. Scottie Simmonds

Run takes tragic turn as man dies

A 61-YEAR-OLD man died yesterday while competing in the Cane2Coral fun run and walk.

The Carindale man, who works for Bundaberg Sugar, was running the 15km event as part of the more than 100-strong corporate team from the company.

Bundaberg Sugar general manager Ray Hatt said the man had travelled to Bundaberg to compete in the fun run, as he had done the previous year.

“It was a bit of a shock to everybody (at Bundaberg Sugar) for something like this to happen,” Mr Hatt said.

AGL Action Rescue Helicopter pilot Dick Snell said the chopper was called in about 9.40am after emergency service vehicles had trouble making their way through the runners.

But it is understood the man died before he reached hospital.

Race volunteers and some runners gave the man CPR while they waited for emergency crews to arrive.

Cane2Coral race director Kerry Short said race organisers were “deeply saddened” by the man’s death.

“We feel very much for his family and send our condolences,” he said.

But despite the tragedy, Mr Short said the event was a success.

More than 2900 runners took to the streets – most of them in the 8km run-walk – to raise money for Cancer Council Queensland and the Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club.

“We just didn’t quite make the 3000 we hoped for, but we were up just over 800 on last year,” Mr Short said.

But it was not just the number of runners the organisers were impressed by.

Hundreds of spectators came to Nielson Park Beach, Bargara, to cheer the runners on as they crossed the finish line.

“I went through just before the race started and there were people coming from houses near Scotland St to cheer the runners on,” Mr Short said.

“It was great to see.”

The organiser said it was pleasing to see how easily the Bundaberg community had embraced the event, which ran for the first time last year.

“The event only gets its heart from the people who join it and embrace it,” he said.

Mr Short said unofficial planning for next year’s race had already started.

Glenn Cooper, who was the first Bundaberg region resident across the line, said it was great to have an event in his home town.

“We have been travelling away to do races and we have been crying out to have one here,” he said.

Did you run or walk the Cane2Coral? Share your experiences below.



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