Walking before you run

By Riverine Herald

FOR Kim Boland, walking isn’t easy.

In fact, until last year it was a struggle to take even one step.

But she’s determined when she rolls to the end of Johnno’s Run on July 29, she’s going to get out of her wheelchair and walk the last 20m to the finish line.

Because Kim believes anything is possible if you just try hard enough.

And belief is the stuff of which Johnno’s Run is made.

It was belief that saw Brady Johnson (aka Johnno) take the first band of Echuca-Moama runners to the streets of Melbourne in 2014.

Running to raise money for Community Living and Respite Services’ Open Doors Project and – ultimately – a house on Minor St, Echuca where people with disabilities could live independently.

It’s thanks to the belief of those first few runners that people like Kim can now call that house on Minor St something else – ‘home’.

And this year, Kim wants to give back.

For the first time, she’ll be joining in the run, conquering the 5km stint on her wheelchair (and on foot).

“I’ve been practicing walking,” Kim said.

“I had my hip replaced 17 months ago, before that I was in a wheelchair all the time.

“Since I signed up I’ve wanted to walk to the finish line.”

But she’s not doing it alone.

Her team ‘Keeping it Wheel’ also includes sidekicks Andrea Johnston and Sue McGowan.

And while Kim can tear up the pavement on her wheelchair, her teammates may urge her to keep speed to a minimum.

“I’m not sure if we’ll be running — maybe more of a leisurely walk,” Andrea laughed.

In addition to training for the big day, Kim has been working tirelessly to raise money.

From selling cupcakes, running sausage sizzles and rattling tins, to holding luncheons and depositing her recycling at Moama’s Return and Earn facility, Kim’s fundraising methods have been jam-packed with creativity.

And, best of all, she’s currently topping the fundraising ladder – even sitting above CLRS chief executive Suzanna Barry.

“Kim loves a bit of healthy competition,” Andrea said.

“And she’s so enthusiastic and excited for this and to be able to help raise money for the Opening Doors Project to be built in Maiden St Moama.”

To give to the Keeping it Wheel team, visit

To get involved in Johnno’s Run, visit