At 7.30am, twenty five intrepid walkers and five support team members departed from Castlemaine Railway Station on the club’s 26th annual ‘Marathon’ 42km day walk. This time it was organised by Chris Jarvis and Karen Armitage, taking over from Bill Casey’s never-to-be-repeated record of planning and leading 25 Marathons. As a first for the Marathon format, a circuit route was found, eliminating the need for hiring a bus or a car shuffle. More by good luck than good planning, the distance was 42.5km, as we meandered around the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, first heading north towards the Welsh Village, then south through Chewton, then further south to the Spring Gully diggings carpark for lunch at exactly half way through the walk. After lunch we continued our southward amble to Fryerstown, then north again and back to Spring Gully carpark via Break Neck Hill. The final 10km took us to the Poverty Gully water channel and into the finish at Castlemaine Railway Station, 11 ½ hours later. Twenty four members completed the whole walk, with just one person not doing all the stages. Well done to everybody! 
The weather forecast was for cool conditions and possible showers. The cool conditions were a bonus, as it shortened the breaks as we cooled down, and the showers, including some hail in the afternoon, were barely more than a minor nuisance, if that. It was almost ideal walking conditions for this type of event. The varied terrain, with lots of climbs, descents, level ground, smooth ground and rough ground, appeared to distribute the workload amongst our muscles, as most walkers reported at the end that this was the amongst the least fatigued they had felt at the end of a Marathon. The venerable Bill Casey said, as we walked the final kilometre, that he could walk ten more, if he had to! 
I would like to express a sincere ‘Thank You’ to all the participants, and particularly to the Support Team, very ably led by Jenny James who took on the role with just a few weeks to go. Also, thanks to all who contributed to the food we consumed at the rest breaks, we ended up with more than we needed. And to Col, who got the bulletins onto the club website and bulk emails, without which communications to club members would have been much harder. 
Will I organise another Marathon? Watch this space! I’m being non-committal here, but I have been encouraged by the very positive feedback from all involved. 
A great day, and a great effort by everybody. Well done.

About Essendon Bushwalking Club

The Club was formed in 1975, and is a major club servicing the Northern and Western suburbs.

The main theme of the club is to enjoy the great outdoors and through participation learn new skills and have FUN!