After 43 years and more than 250 official events the Nowra Athletics Club will run at the picturesque and challenging Timberhills cross-country course at Tomerong for the final time this Saturday.
The property of club stalwarts the McKinnon family the "tough and unrelenting course" is located in Kells Road at Tomerong.
"It's the end of an era - a big era," said owner Ron McKinnon who along with his wife Ruth, his brother Steve and his late father Bill have crafted Timberhills into one of the toughest courses in the state.
"We've had a great time out here, but it's just time," said Mr McKinnon, who won the inaugural event back in June 1976, setting the fastest time over the 10km long course event.
"It's just all getting a bit hard now," he said.
"It's been a big commitment for our family, and as sad as it is to see it all end, it's time."
After the wild winds that have battered the Shoalhaven over the past week Mr McKinnon will have the task of going out and cleaning up the course one last time ahead of Saturday's final run.
"We'll get out and do a clean up, pick up some of the limbs and branches that are down after the wind and slash the course to get it ready," he said.
"We've had the Nowra club run here for 43 years and for a number of years local southern schools have used the venue for their cross-country and the southern district event as well.
"We've had thousands of runners take to our property. Lots of family groups over the years.
"I remember one Nowra event here where we had 10 members of the McKinnon family race."
That was in the '90s when a then club record of 264 runners took to the course.
That first course was a cracker. It was tough - boy it was tough. It had everything, hills, really tough hills, some mountain goat territory, numerous creek crossings. Some which were waist deep, logs to jump over, steep inclines, it had everything.Ron McKinnon
"It's been great but as they say all good things have got to come to an end and that's now," he said.
"It will be a shame, it's been a big part of our lives and we've loved it."
The Tomerong course, which Mr McKinnon describes as a "true cross-country course" came into being when he started competing with the Nowra Club.
"I did alright a cross-country when I was at school," he said "so got involved with the Nowra club.
"We used to run everywhere - we of course had the Gibb family's Willandra Course, we also ran at a place a Terara and one day after a race I said why don't we hold a run at our place at Tomerong?"
The seed was sown and work started.
With the aid of his tractor and slasher in some places, and with just an axe in others, Ron set about making the "toughest" course he could.
"And I think I succeeded as well," he said
"That first course, which not only took in our property but a few other neighbours as well, was a cracker.
"It was tough - boy it was tough.
"It had everything, hills, really tough hills, some mountain goat territory, numerous creek crossings. Some which were waist deep, logs to jump over, steep inclines, it had everything.
"As far as I was concerned a real cross-country course. It was more of a mountaineers course.
As far as I was concerned a real cross-country course. It was more of a mountaineers course. And I still think we had the hardest of the courses.Ron McKinnon
"And I still think we had the hardest of the courses.
"The Gibb's Willandra is superb, they had been at it a few more years than us and it has 'Heartbreak Hill' but it is more of a free flowing running course - but really Heartbreak Hill was a stroll in the park compared to our hills."
In the early days there was just two distances, short course and a long course, he has defined the layout to now to incorporate a one kilometre, 2km, 3km and a long course, which is a 5km loop which runners complete twice.
Such has been the family's dedication to staging events that every year the Bill McKinnon Memorial is held in honour of Ron and Steve's late father who did a lot of work over the years setting up courses and helping.
Apart from a decade or so when his younger brother Steve looked after the course while he was pursuing his other love, rally driving, Timberhills has been Ron's baby.
There has been the odd funny occurrence as well, with runners sometimes encountering Mr McKinnon's famous bullocks during a run.
The bullocks have been known to get out on the odd occasion. Most of the time they just stand there and watch the runners go by. There was one time one ran down the course - no one was in danger but it's a bit of an eye-opener when a beast weighing over a tonne is coming towards you. It was a bit of spectacle to see actually - people just moved out of the way.Ron McKinnon
"Most of the time they just stand there and watch the runners go by," he said.
"They wouldn't move, mind you, if they were on the course.
"It's been known to happen that they might get out now and then.
"There was one time one ran down the course - no one was in danger but it's a bit of an eye-opener when a beast weighing over a tonne is coming towards you.
"It was a bit of spectacle to see actually - people just moved out of the way."
And while he won't be running at this weekend's final event at the 260-acre property, he said he does intend to walk the last course.
"Steve's going to run but my knee's no good so I'll just walk it I think," he said.
"It will be nice to be able to say as I was there at the first run and won it and was there for the last."
And as for "retirement", well he won't be slowing down.
"I've got back into rallying and can I say it I'm loving it," he said.
"It's been great fun."
With Ruth as team leader overseeing the service crew they are back making dirt fly, although Mr McKinnon admits he's not as fast as he used to be.