The Farm to Pub’s origins can be traced to the 2003 Melbourne Half-Marathon. Philip Joyce and his brother-in-law Gerald McCarthy both entered this event and went head-to-head on Beach Rd. When Philip was a surprise victor over Gerald, the world was shocked. Gerald returned home to Kernan St that night in tears, vowing revenge.
Damien Joyce had also competed in the half-marathon (a late entrant under Jules Norman’s name) and thought of the perfect way that Phil and Gerry could have a re-match without waiting another 12 months. Why not run from the family farm to the Willaura Pub that Christmas?? And so the Farm to Pub was born.
The first instalment was held on Boxing Day in 2003, and it was a humble beginning. As it was only locals and family, on the day it was changed to the Pub to Farm for logistics purposes.
Organisers realised this Christmas date didn’t suit, so the event was changed to the 3rd Saturday/Sunday of February, and thus no event was run in 2004, and from 2005-2013 it created a niche in the open-road running market…
In 2014 the Moyston-Willaura Football & Netball Club took over the reins, and wisely moved the event to late March, to avoid the heat the event had battled with.
And in an exciting development, in 2015, the rotation of courses will begin, with a new course will be used that starts from the Millear’s place and includes a trip up Bald Hill!