It's hard not to get caught up in the fun at the Hopathon - a gruelling 600-metre course, with runners facing headwinds and steep hills before tumbling down cobblestones across the line.
Ballarat's marathon legend Steve Moneghetti was sweeper up the back, urging people forwards, and right at the end, the reward was a shiny gold medal and a pint of cold beer.
Saturday's run around the block was Hop Temple's annual fundraiser for Ballarat Health Services, focusing on the special care nursery.
For Clare Banwell, it's a cause close to her heart - her twin sons, Max and Harvey were born at 32 weeks in October last year.
They're now a year old, and were sitting happily in high chairs at the pub with medals as big as their heads.
"They went straight to the special care nursery," Ms Banwell said.
"We didn't have to go to Melbourne because the Ballarat Base Hospital was well-equipped for 32 weeks and four days gestation twin boys."
That's the key point, BHS head of fundraising and engagement Sarah Masters said - having proper, modern facilities and equipment in Ballarat keeps families together at their most critical times.
"The thing that's really important for us is to provide world-class healthcare, and the way we do that is to have events like this, which enable us to buy equipment," she said.
"The equipment they bought last year was monitoring equipment for the special care nursery - this year, we need some new incubators.
"(Having the equipment in Ballarat) means we reduce the number of kids who have to go to Melbourne for treatment, it means we can keep babies here, in the community they live in and their relatives, and it reduces the strain on families."
She added the team at Hop Temple had been "amazing".
Last year, the event raised more than $7500, and organiser Jordan McPhan said they hoped to beat that this year.
"We wanted to create something that's fun, and that's all it's supposed to be, it's not supposed to be taken seriously, something fun for a good cause," she said.
"We're really stoked, it's basically a similar number to last year, and considering the weather, we've been really lucky."
She said she hoped the event would become an annual fixture on the Ballarat Show weekend.
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