By Jane Harris
The inaugural “Barraba to Kaputar Multisport Event” is happening this spring on Saturday 8 October. The event has been coordinated by Jonathan Harris, former Barraba boy and now Supporter Partnerships representative for Bible Society Australia. Jonathan, known as Jono, grew up on “Wongala” West of Barraba on the side of the Mt Kaputar National park.
“I love that part of the world,” says Jono. “I have travelled that road hundreds of times since I was 13 years old, and always wondered whether I could cycle or run up the mountain. Now I’m 57. I put on a lot of weight travelling for work, and I lost both my parents to cancer during the last 4 years. So I have started training for marathons, and triathlons for variety and health. I love swimming, cycling and running, and without a big challenge I don’t get motivated. And this event is for a good cause.”
The summit of Mt Kaputar is 58km from Barraba travelling along Trevallyn and Mt Lindesay Roads. Approximately 20km of the route is sealed road. Where the ascent begins around Weemalah on Mt Lindesay Rd the road becomes gravel. Once participants reach the National Park Boundary, the road is classed as a ‘track’, which is accessible by 4×4 vehicles, bikes and on foot.
Jono doesn’t want people’s participation to be limited by their level of fitness. He says, “We have provided some recommendations for different skill levels and modes of exercise. Upon registering you can choose between the full 58km distance, 42km, 10km or less if desired. People can cycle, run or walk or do a combination. E-bikes are also allowed.”
The event will provide support vehicles along the different segments, and National Park staff are going to be in attendance along the Barraba Track section in the Park. Participants can nominate for a ride back to Barraba in a support vehicle. Alternatively people can get themselves back to the park boundary and organise their own pick up, or arrange collection from Kaputar via Narrabri.
The event will raise money for Bible work. “The main objective is to raise at least $20,000 for the Bible Society’s work in International Bible-based Literacy programs, Australian Indigenous projects, distribution of Bibles for Australian Public School Scripture and the Australian Defence Force, as well as the AUSLAN (Sign language) Bible project,” says Jono. Registrations are open to participants without fundraising for the Bible Society. But with an ascent of around 1,200m, it is a challenging event.
Participants are also invited to a post-event barbecue at one of the Harris family places near the Park border.
Register on the National Events page here: events.biblesociety.org.au
To join the discussion group in preparation for the event, go to the Facebook Group site for information and to collaborate with other participants. Search for “Barraba to Mt Kaputar Fundraising Group”.