Runners flock to festival
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.
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.