Run­ners flock to fes­ti­val

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT vic­to­ria. nu­gent@ news. com. au

RECORD regis­tra­tions for the Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val will see mo­tel rooms filled and cafes bustling, with al­most 3000 run­ners set to take part.

Al­most 2500 have al­ready reg­is­tered for the fes­ti­val, with more than 300 more ex­pected to register on Satur­day at Jezzine Bar­racks.

Run­ners are com­ing from all over the coun­try and over­seas to pound the pave­ment on Sun­day in seven events.

Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee mem­ber Colin Ryan said reg­is­tra­tion num­bers sur­passed all pre­vi­ous years, av­er­ag­ing about 90 each day this week.

“We’ve got 50 run­ners from 17 dif­fer­ent coun­tries, the lo­cal area – Mackay, Cairns, the Bur­dekin – all the num­bers are up down there, around that area, so it looks like it will be a fan­tas­tic Run­ning Fes­ti­val,” Mr Ryan said.

“This year has just gone be­yond our wildest dreams.”

Townsville En­ter­prise tourism and events ex­ec­u­tive man­ager Brid­get Woods said ac­com­mo­da­tion providers and other lo­cal busi­nesses would reap the ben­e­fits.

“It’s great to see all the restau­rants and cafes along The Strand tak­ing part in the festi-

This year has just gone be­yond our

wildest dreams TOWNSVILLE RUN­NING FES­TI­VAL COM­MIT­TEE MEM­BER COLIN RYAN

val this year,” she said. “We’ve been told they’ll be dec­o­rat­ing their venues in sup­port of the fes­ti­val, so that will be won­der­ful to see come alive.”

Odyssey on the Strand owner Dimi Duff said the cafe was gear­ing up for a big day of busi­ness on Sun­day.

“It’s a great draw­card us,” she said.

“It brings a lot more fam­i­lies down to The Strand be­cause they sup­port their fam­i­lies.

“A lot of them come in to watch the races and fol­low friends or fam­ily mem­bers in the race so it’s a great event.”

Ms Duff said cof­fee ma­chines would be fir­ing from early in the morn­ing.

“A lot of the run­ners who are go­ing to be in the fes­ti­val are our reg­u­lar cus­tomers, so we like to sup­port them.”

Online regis­tra­tions closed at mid­night, but run­ners will have another chance to sign up on Satur­day at Jezzine Bar­racks from 11am to 4pm.

for

Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

MARATHON MAN: Exser­vice­man Caine Wil­liams en­tered the marathon af­ter los­ing a friend to PTSD last year and on be­half of his daugh­ter who has a heart con­di­tion.

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