Even dogs get a run at Gunnedah's Oz Day bash

IT was a day of fun when the annual Gunnedah Australia Day Sporting Events ran again on the weekend.

Young men and women celebrated the nation’s birthday on land and in and on water.

Organised by John Hickey for the community, it was a big day of raft and craft racing on the river, Dash for Cash and Splash For Cash sprints at Donnelly Playing Fields and the local Gunnedah Pool, triathlons around the pool, touch football shootouts at Donnelly Fields and  dog racing!

Yep, or yelp,  Hickey added in dog racing and that was a spectacle, he reckoned.

Especially the pig dog dash, when they finally got down to racing and not sniffing their opposition.

Sarg, owned by Matt Durrant, was the inaugural winner of that pig dog class while Sheeba, owned by Sebastian Shortis won the working dog dash. 

The town mutt class dash was won by the Hickey family’s Sarge, just to make their day.

All in all, it was a day of fun and some physical exertion.

The triathlon, the second longest running triathlon in the nation (1983 inception), went off well, the women and children in the cool of the morning and the men racing in the evening.

Adrian Byrnes won the men’s tri from Moree’s Andrew Noakes and Robert Carlyon.

Sophie Heeney prevailed in the women’s from  Emily Pope with Sarah Hickey third.

Sarah’s mum Donna was away for the first time in 30 years, winning an Australian sprint distance title (50-54 year age group) in Canberra.

Women’s triathlon winners (from left) winner Sophie Heeney, runner-up Emily Pope, third placegetter Sarah Hickey flank Gunnedah’s Australia Day ambassador Michael Crossland.

Women’s triathlon winners (from left) winner Sophie Heeney, runner-up Emily Pope, third placegetter Sarah Hickey flank Gunnedah’s Australia Day ambassador Michael Crossland.