I98 CAMP QUALITY CHARITY RUN

SUNDAY 17th NOVEMBER 2013 – APPIN ROAD TO CROOME ROAD, ALBION  PARK

 

To say that this event ran on the above date is to discount the amount of time and effort that goes into organising something so momentous.

 

Months of planning and lobbying local businesses, both transport and retail, takes time, dedication and commitment from a dedicated band of people. A big thank you goes to them all.

But let’s join this event on Thursday 14thNovember when local Wollongong radio station I98 held their yearly auction for lead position in the Convoy for Kids. Between 11am and 12 noon transport companies compete financially to hold the lead position in this 60km convoy.

Things got off to a slow start and by 11.40 we were wondering if bidding was going to stall at around the $50,000 dollar mark. Last year the position of lead truck went for a cool $110K, so expectations were high.

Let’s just say that during the next twenty minutes, things heated up and the final bid for lead position was won by ‘The People’s Truck’ at a whopping $114K. The irony being that the bloke that took out top honours doesn’t even own a truck! He rallied the local retail community to raise his funds and then hired a truck and had all his sponsor’s logo’s added to the vehicle. Talk about dedication.

It takes a lot of hard work to get funds like that happening.

THE PEOPLE’S TRUCK – FRONT & REAR

Each truck that wishes to enter and run on the day pays an entry fee of $30.00. There are also motorbikes that enter and pay this fee. On the day there were over 700 trucks and 1000 motorbikes. Quite an awesome sight!

Even though this is a convoy of working trucks, you do get the odd vintage truck in the convoy. Murrell Freight Lines who are one of the transport companies that help to organise the day enter all their vehicles into the run. Three of their interstate trucks were unable to get back to Wollongong in time, so we were lucky enough to be offered a position to run at the rear of their pack.

 

Bike riders are encouraged to dress up and they run a competition for the best dressed rider…….

We saw minions, grim reapers, Banana’s in Pyjama’s and even Sponge Bob Square Pants. There were some very imaginative costumes out there.

The lead trucks, of which there are a couple of hundred, corral in the Cataract Scout Camp and the other trucks and bikes leave from the Appin Colliery.

One of the DJ’s from I98, Marty, actually has a truck licence and runs in the convoy each year. We managed to photo bomb him on a couple of occasions.

Showed him what a real truck looked like.

It certainly is an awesome sight, once you get rolling to see all these vehicles cleaned and polished to within an inch of their lives.

The weather was atrocious and it rained non-stop all day which basically washed out the majority of the events planned for the finish at Croome Road. Never-the-less the trucks and bikes carried on and it took approximately three hours to travel the 60kms.

Thousands of people braved the terrible weather to line the route and cheer on these generous men and women that take on this fund raiser each year. What a feeling it is to see all these people, most of whom who will have donated some amount of money, large or small for this fantastic cause.

As you can see it was a little wet!

Regardless of the torrential rain, it was a fantastic day. It is an event that each year grabs the heart and brings together the community of the Illawarra.

Having spoken to one of the organisers this week we were told that the final tally for the fund raising for the day was just short of $1.2 million.

We have attended this event on several occasions as spectators and it is always a great day out. To have the opportunity to travel in the convoy this year was amazing. We would like to thank Murrell Freight Lines for the invite.

We would also urge anyone who hasn’t attended this event, get on board next year.  If you own a suitable vehicle, for the $30 entry fee, it is a worthy cause. It will be the tenth anniversary run and they are hoping to make it an event to be remembered.