More than 830 people took part in Griffith University’s annual Toohey Trail Run over the weekend, following a COVID-enforced hiatus in 2020.

Hosted by Griffith Sport, participants had the choice of three challenging all-terrain courses: 5km, 10km or 21.1km routes winding through the scenic surrounds of Griffith’s Nathan campus and Toohey Forest.

Elite Student Ambassador Ellie Beer

This year’s Elite Student Ambassador, Bachelor of Sport Development student and Olympian Ellie Beer, had words of encouragement at the starting line.

“My advice to all the competitors was just to go out there and enjoy it,” she said.

“This is probably the only run like this so close to the city.

“The course was definitely harder than I thought with some tough hill climbs, but it was so good to see people from all walks of life participating.

“The Griffith Sports events have an awesome atmosphere and cater for everyone from little kids through to masters athletes.”

Ellie said the trail run offered a welcome challenge after spending two weeks in quarantine after the Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m one of those people who loves to get out and about, stay active and meet new people,” she said.

“Ever since I came out of two weeks quarantine, I’m not taking that for granted ever again!”

Ivy and Ziphoria Minniecon

This year Griffith Sport collaborated with a pair of talented First Nations artists to create a one-of-a-kind singlet design for participants.

Mother and daughter Ivy and Ziphoria Minniecon are descendants of the Kuku Yalanji, Gubbi Gubbi, Gureng Gureng and South Sea Islander nations.

Ivy is currently studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at the Queensland College of Art and her daughter Ziphoria is an emerging artist who specialises in painting, digital art and drawing.

“To see our designs on hundreds of runners makes me very happy,” Ziphoria said.

“I was inspired by 20,000 year old footprints found in New South Wales. A biological archaeologist calculated that one of the hunters was running at 37 kilometers an hour, or as fast as an Olympic sprinter.

“I wanted to represent an Indigenous hunter by placing a man beside the writing. There are also other runners of different ethnicities placed throughout the lettering.

“Dots represent the rainforest for me, the circles symbolise a place of gathering and the lines around represent the travels of the Toohey Trail runners.”

The annual bitumen to bush classic raised more than $6,000 for this year’s charity beneficiary, Diabetes Queensland.

Sturt Eastwood, Diabetes Qld CEO

“This is the fourth year that Diabetes Queensland has been the beneficiary of the Toohey Trail Run,” Diabetes Queensland CEO Sturt Eastwood said.

“I can’t overstate how important this type of community fundraising is to our efforts to support people with diabetes.

“The pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty and all charities are aware of the pressure that uncertainty puts on supporters.

“Diabetes Queensland is proud to partner with Griffith Sport to promote the benefits of health and fitness to the Queensland community.

“We’re also very appreciative of the thousands of dollars raised by their runners, including those with diabetes, to help people live well with the condition and further the fight to find a cure.”

Luke Hallam took out the 10km run, while Abigail Marsh was the first woman home.

In the half marathon, Anthony Farrugia crossed the line first, while Reegan Ellis won the women’s event.

11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
UN Sustainable Development Goals 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

3: Good Health and Well-being
UN Sustainable Development Goals 3: Good Health and Well-being