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Hundreds of Halcyon homeowners and staff have stepped out in the Sunshine Coast Marathon and Gold Coast Marathon events in 2018, raising their heart rates and more than $5,000 for charity. Following a Halcyon tradition of strong participation in these annual events, Team Halcyon joined thousands of walkers and runners to pound the pavement for health, friendship and a sense of achievement.

Most recently, 200 homeowners and staff from Halcyon Parks, Landing, Lakeside and Glades took part in the 2km, 5km, 10km and half marathon events for the Sunshine Coast Marathon on Sunday, August 19. It was the first time in the event for Halcyon Parks newcomers Julie and Paul Coles; former Brisbane residents who have walked the 10km Bridge to Brisbane a couple of times.

They see their participation in the 10km event as a natural extension of their daily walks in and around Halcyon Parks at Caloundra. “We are a little past jogging these days but we’re happy to walk 10km,” Paul said. “We walk every day and we find if you don’t go for a walk you don’t feel as good. “It gets the endorphins going and we love being out in nature.” Paul, who has had open-heart surgery twice, admits he’s a bit of a walking fanatic.“It helps to keep the weight down and it’s good for general well-being, it’s become something I’m addicted to,” he said.

Julie said she liked the ‘giving back’ aspect of the Sunshine Coast Marathon. “It feels good when you’re doing something for a charity and helping as well,” she said.

Halcyon Parks community manager Kate Clark said the beauty of the Sunshine Coast Marathon was that it was a non-profit event with all proceeds going to charity, including major beneficiary, Ronald McDonald House – a favoured Halcyon cause.

“The event has raised $1.2 million for charity and community groups since its inception,” Kate said. “It’s really a community-driven event.” Kate said homeowners were excited about generating support for the charity, which provides nearby accommodation for parents whose children are in hospital.

In June, more than 115 Halcyon homeowners and staff from Waters, Vision and Greens laced up their runners and donned their ocean-blue shirts to take on the 5.7km Gold Coast Airport Fun Run – part of the Gold Coast Marathon weekend. For many it was more of a walk than a run, but thoroughly enjoyable one with good company, the beautiful Broadwater backdrop and plenty of encouragement coming from the sidelines.

They were well supported by Halcyon caretakers Mark Young, Jason Gordon and Jordan Paix, and several helpers, who prepared a delicious post-race BBQ brunch at ‘Team Halcyon HQ’ near the finish line.

It was a first for some homeowners who had never taken part in an event like this. Bill Harrison, of Halcyon Greens, said he was pleasantly surprised after wife Joy and community manager Michelle Drummond talked him into signing up.

“It’s just not my sort of thing usually,” he said.  “But I was so pleased I did it because I absolutely enjoyed it. “It brought out my competitive side. “The event was uplifting, and a great experience seeing other people having a go who were worse off than me. “It was great having all the supporters cheering you on along the way.”

First-timer Trevor Stehr, also from Halcyon Greens, didn’t know what to expect and was a little apprehensive. “I had a few injuries and didn’t know if I’d make it back, but I did, and in a better time than I expected. “It was great having Halcyon as the organiser and having a home base where you could talk to people and have something to eat and drink afterwards.  “It was fun, and I’d do it again.”

Judy Gavan crossed the finish line with long-time friend and fellow Halcyon Greens homeowner Del Flack. “I went into it purely for a social get-together because I’m only new here,” she said. “I’ve got a crook knee, so I just wanted a nice, easy social walk. “It was lovely, I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the camaraderie.  “Afterwards, we had a coffee, a chat and some lunch - I’ll definitely be doing it again next year.”

As a result of their marathon efforts this year, Halcyon homeowners and staff raised $5,000 for Ronald McDonald House Herston - enough to fund a room in the facility.