Gunnedah’s running community has rallied in honour of Samantha Murphy, the Ballarat mother allegedly murdered during a morning run early in February.

The Gunnedah community run was organised by local fitness coach Maryanne Perkins who saw marathon runner Rob de Castella’s plea to run groups across the country.

“I stand with all women and will do all I can to ensure they are safe and respected, and they can run without fear,” Castella said earlier this month.

“On the eve of International Women’s Day, the tragedy of this is compounded. [This] is a day to celebrate the great women in our lives and communities.

“The running community must stand with all women in solidarity and ensure we provide a safe, positive and uplifting space for everyone, especially all women.”

Maryanne, who owns and operates Gunnedah Health and Fitness, encouraged the whole community to join the pre-dawn morning run around town.

Runners of all ages, ability and experience took part – from teenagers to those aged in their late 70s. Members of other gyms, workplaces and social circles were offered a choice of three run distances. Even a few dogs and their owners joined the group for the community run.

“The aim was for everyone to come together as a community to say ‘you should be safe to run and exercise’ and that violence against women is not okay,” Maryanne said.

The community run was also supported by Reverence Sourdough which refuelled participants with coffee and snacks post-event.

To order photos from this page click here