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The Sweat Vs Steam is a unique and iconic running event held on the mighty Murray River and runs through the historic Port of Echuca. All while participants try to beat the oldest operating wooden hulled paddle steamer in the world to the finish line! 

The History
The first Sweat vs Steam was run in 1998 as a 21.1km Half Marathon with fewer than 50 participants.  The local then YMCA ran a Breakkie Run one Sunday a month, and from there, a group of volunteers from this event got together and the annual event grew from there.  Sweat vs Steam has always been organised by volunteers and supported by the community, as participants, marshals and many other roles which enable the event to continue to thrive and give back and support the community.


The Course

The course has evolved and changed over the years seeing various different courses in it's time. It has been run over the Echuca-Moama Bridge into NSW, it found it's way out to the East, through the bush, the Scenic and various other courses over the years.  It hasn’t always been the same distance either; it has varied between 10km right up to 21km.  But what has always remained is showcasing the Mighty Murray River and our historic surrounds.  In 2016 when the Murray River flooded, the course was changed several times as the River rose.  In the end it was a 5 lap course to keep the participants feet dry and keep them safe.  This then prompted a 5km event to be added to encourage more people to join in. in 2022 when the town experienced severe flooding again, the committee again went to work altering the course to ensure the event could continue. And we saw only 2 weeks later the exact course we took was flooded beyond recognition!


The Participants

We have participants over a vast age group from Primary school children, babies in prams through to our older generations.  We had a record number of participants in 2014  when we had just over 720!  This event raised over $22,000 for the local community.  We have had some class runners participate over the years.  We are lucky to have several class athletes in our community, who always enthusiastic supporters of the event, Tarli Bird, Brady Threlfall, Archie Reid, to name a few and other top runners such as Andy Buchannan from Bendigo.  Our participants come from all over the state, and we have strong support from the local community and have groups of friends who travel year after year from areas such as Mornington Peninsula and Geelong. Our new Kids Dash now sees children as young as 3 participating which is amazing to watch ! 

The Beneficiaries

Sweat vs Steam is a community event and all money raised is put back into the local community through our Community Grant.  Over the years we have supported various individuals, sporting clubs, schools and community groups. We have supported a boy who, as the result of an accident, had an acquired brain injury to have swimming lessons. 


We supplied funds to build a fence around the Bunaloo Tennis courts to help keep the children safe when the Ladies had mid-week tennis.  We supplied funds to resurface the basketball court at St Patricks Primary School in Tongala.  Money has enabled children to attend school camp, those who’s families would not have been able to afford to send them to camp.  The funds have contributed to many school breakfast programs.  Some of the schools who have received this funding to support their breakfast programs are:  Mathoura Primary School, Echuca Central Primary School, St Joseph’s College, Echuca College, Echuca East Primary School. 


The funds are not only available for groups, but individuals.  We have purchased football boots for kids.  We make our funds available to every part of the community.  Echuca Search and Rescue have received funds for various emergency equipment requirements.

Community engagement

Sweat Vs Steam is a community-focused event, open to participants of all ages. We believe that fitness should be a way of life, not just a list of goals to achieve, and that’s why our event is open to everyone - not just athletes or extremely fit individuals.


Take a look at our site to find out more about ways to participate and start training today!

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