MEMBERS of the Goolum Goolumn community are gearing up for the next walk or run after a successful RunRona event at the weekend.
Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative encouraged people to join the RunRona walk, which saw participants complete a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre, half or full marathon walk or run any time on Saturday or Sunday.
Co-operative health and wellbeing programs manager Dean O'Loughlin said about 120 people registered for the event, which took place along the Wimmera River in Horsham, as well as in Stawell, Dimboola and Halls Gap.
"The local Aboriginal community came out in full force," he said.
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Goolum Goolum covered people's entry fees for the event.
All money raised will support grassroots health promotion programs in Aboriginal communities through Spark Health.
Mr O'Loughlin's team placed selfie frames at either end of a track along the river, plus other locations, and encouraged people to share the pictures on social media.
"Our Facebook page just lit up," he said.
Mr O'Loughlin said it was amazing seeing the community connect with each other both ahead of the event and on the day.
"It was great to see a lot of people who might usually do the five kilometres do the 10 kilometres, and people who don't usually walk do the five kilometres," he said.
He completed a 10-kilometre run on Saturday.
He said encouragement from others helped people decide to participate and challenge themselves.
"You could see as the week went on, closer to the event, there was starting to be a bit of excitement generated," he said. "People at the start of the week were saying 'I can't do that' but then starting saying 'I can do that'.
"There was a lot of support from the community to help each other."
Mr O'Loughlin said World No Tobacco Day was a focus of the walk on Sunday.
He said the term started trending on social media, as did #GoMob and #RunRona.
Mr O'Loughlin said Clothing the Gap, which organised the RunRona event, would look to do something similar for NAIDOC Week in the first week of July.
People are already gearing up for it.
"There's a bit of a buzz around the next event," Mr O'Loughlin said.
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