Inaugural Wunta Fiesta Milk Run kicks off annual festival in Warrnambool

Tour de France cycling commentator great Phil Liggett was on hand to call the inaugural Wunta Fiesta milk run and even he was confused. 

“I was caught off guard,” Mr Liggett said. “I didn’t know where the start was I wasn’t too sure where the finish was. I missed the winner but apart from that it was a heck of a success.”

The new run replaced the Undy 500, at the Wunta Big Breakfast. It had been part of the festival since 2002 and was cancelled due to low entry numbers in past years. 

The milk run was won by Michaella Clements who entered minutes before the event. Best dressed was awarded to Pippa Herbertson, 4. 

“There was no strategy,” Ms Clements said. “It was beat my friends and that was it.”

She encouraged people to support the festival. “It’s a great weekend. Growing up I remember going to Wunta down the street.”

Instead of completing the up and back course along the Civic Green, participants took a wrong turn and ran along the border of the green finishing at the stage. Some of the farm-themed outfits included milk maids and a cow while other entrants ran in work or school uniforms.

Committee chairwoman Donna Gladman said more people entered the milk run than in last year’s Undy 500, which was shelved due to low numbers, and was pleased with the event. 

“It was fun and that’s what we wanted," Mrs Gladman said. We had kids who entered and they loved it. It was more inclusive. It was a great morning.

“It’s what it’s supposed to be. Everyone was on a level playing field. We were so fortunate to have (high profile cycling commentator) Phil Liggett here to call it.”

Warrnambool’s Rain McMillan enjoys the festival and attends all the weekend’s events. “I come to the breakfast every year,” Mrs McMillan said. “I never miss it. I love it.”

More than 400 hot breakfasts were served to patrons including toddlers, children in school uniforms, trades people, workers and older community members.

The breakfast is an annual tradition for Bushfield sisters Vivian Carter and Karen Crispe who attended as children. It’s continued on for the next generation Noah, 9, and Seth, 7, Crispe who enjoyed large serves of pancakes and bacon and eggs on Friday morning.

Warrnambool residents Sam and Beverly Hines enjoy the social side of the event. “It’s something different,” Mr Hines said. “It’s nice. It’s good.” 

Mr Liggett was in town for the Jayco Herald Sun tour which departed Warrnambool bound for Ballarat on Friday morning.

“It’s nice to see everyone enjoying themselves,” Mr Liggett said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen people queue up to see milk measured.”

The fun continues tonight with Friday Night on Liebig from 6pm and Jazz in the Gardens at the botanic gardens from 12pm. 

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