There is a hive of activity at Quilpie racecourse as the logistics of organising on-farm drop-offs begin for the 2019 Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.
Bacon and egg rolls are going out the door like, well, hotcakes and there is an air of excited tension as runners await their instructions for hay deliveries.
Many of the runners, who have already donated great slabs of their long weekend time and expensive machinery, will do hundreds of kilometres again today as they head to outlying properties.
It’s a huge ask – another possibly 500-kilometre round trip for some – before the relaxation begins tonight at the racecourse.
Burrumbuttock Hay Runners mastermind Brendan Farrell is unrelenting and unapologetic.
These are the regions others have forgotten, he says.
It’s why his run reaches so far into the heart of outback Queensland each time.
He’s scathing of other charities “with huge amounts of money” whose help stops near Cobar.
“This area is half the size of Tasmania – just getting hay out to these places is a logistical nightmare,” he says.
“But the farmers still need hay and we have to get it there.”
Witnessing the hive of activity on the ground here, you can absolutely believe it.
As the runners look over the ballot draw and prepare themselves for the next leg of this incredible journey, uppermost in their minds is the thought of what scenes await beyond the farm gate.
With her chaperone Howie Muller caught up in logistical co-ordination at Quilpie, Border Mail reporter Jodie O’Sullivan will join Jindera’s Jim Parrett in the truck for an farm drop-off.
Stay tuned for the updates.
Follow Jodie and Howie’s journey live on Facebook.
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