Matt's marathon charity effort
SOME ran to prove it to themselves, some ran to prove it to others.
Matt Golinski ran it for his girls.
The Sunshine Coast celebrity chef made his biggest public appearance since last year's tragic Boxing Day blaze as he ran in the 10km run, part of the Sunshine Coast Marathon and Community Run Festival yesterday.
It had been exactly eight months since the blaze which claimed the lives of his wife, Rachael, and three daughters, twins Willow and Sage and youngest Starlia.
The fire burned the family's Tewantin home to the ground, and left Matt hospitalised for months fighting third-degree burns to 40% of his body.
Applauded and cheered, Matt was flagged by friends and family, including his rehabilitation workers from Eden Rehabilitation Centre at Cooroy, as he ran.
The 40-year-old wanted to participate to support Ronald McDonald House charities.
His family had been involved with Ronald McDonald House through his twin girls.
"He wasn't running for Matt Golinski. He wanted to support and show his gratitude for those charities," a family spokeswoman said.
"He wanted to be involved because of the great work they do."
Running was a big part of Matt's life before last year's tragedy.
"He and Rachael used to run," the spokeswoman said.
"It's important to be able to keep running.
"This is part of his recovery ... he's getting back to where he was before the accident."
Matt, who is now living with his father Keith near Noosa, on Friday told The Daily his physical recovery was on track but his emotional recovery was proving to be more challenging.
Matt finished his run in one hour, 12 minutes.
Meantime, the inaugural Sunshine Coast Marathon has been hailed a success by organisers who are already busy planning next year's event.
About 10,000 people watched 5000 competitors take to the streets yesterday.
The event attracted local, state-wide, national and even international competitors eager to leave their names in the history books.
Event organiser, Atlas Multisports managing director Jason Crowther, said talks on next year's event began at least two months ago.
It plans to double the competitors and double the money the event will raise for Coast charities.
"Dare to double," Mr Crowther said.
"We've had lots of good feedback so far. We had a pretty smooth run and we were lucky with the weather."
Mr Crowther said the long-term goal was to establish an iconic and sustainable running event for the Coast.
Race ambassador and Kellogg's Nutri-Grain ironwoman Jordan Mercer, who finished the 10km event in 42 minutes, said the atmosphere around the course was "incredibly special".
Donations for the official Matt (Matthew) Golinski Recovery Fund Trust can be made over the counter at any ANZ Bank or by direct deposit to: Account name: Matthew Golinski Recovery Fund Trust. Bank: ANZ. BSB: 014 672 Account number: 263 331 805 or via the Plates for Mates website - www.platesformates.com.au.