New- look race on course for suc­cess

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON michael. thompson@ news. com. au

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.

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