New- look race on course for success
RECORD chasers and laid- back participants will both have space to do their thing at this year’s Townsville Running Festival.
Race organisers are in official countdown mode ahead of this year’s event, which is expected to break attendance records and perhaps feature a host of record- breaking runs thanks to a new- look course without many of the old 180- degree turns.
Volunteers began laying down the event’s blue course lines early yesterday morning and will continue their work for the next few days as excitement builds for Townsville’s biggest road running event.
Four- time Olympian Craig Mottram will headline the August 2 festival, and this year’s start and finish has been moved from Tobruk Pool to Jezzine Barracks.
“The move is to give all runners a better running experience, and by that I mean there’s no crossover of paths between one course and another, and no runners are impeded by other runners on the course,” race director Brian Armit said.
“We previously had a great location at Tobruk, but all runners had to finish from the Rockpool end and some runners were impeded by other runners just through the logistics.
“So everyone gets a fair go on this course and it gives us the opportunity to expand into a better experience for spectators as well.”
The new course includes better dynamics for runners in the marathon, half- marathon and 10k classic events, with the final turn around Pallarenda now indicating the beginning of the last leg.
Armit said there was no doubt the new- look course could result in race records tumbling.
“We could quite easily get record times on the course, particularly because we got the opportunity to take out one of the short turnarounds near the Entertainment Centre,” Armit said. “When runners have to go around those sharp turns they basically have to come to a dead stop, but now all runners have a better opportunity of running a faster time. And the course is flat.”
Armit said local runners had further incentive to enter this year’s event after the confirmation of Mottram’s inclusion.
“We’re really hoping Townsville runners take the opportunity to come out and see a world- class runner,” he said. “The absolutely huge strides he takes – he makes it look effortless – but he’s running at a very fast pace, and to see him finish into Jezzine Barracks will be an amazing opportunity.”
For more information on the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival and to register for the event visit townsvillerunningfestival. com.