VIRTUAL WORLD JOINS FES TIVAL
TWO international Townsville Running Festival participants have arrived in the city and hundreds of thousands more will use the internet to join in.
Miyuki Takano and Masaki Hirayama, from Townsville’s Sister City Iwaki, in Japan, arrived yesterday and will run in the marathon tomorrow.
“We are thrilled to have received registrations from two runners from Iwaki, our Sister City in Japan,” festival president Tony Gordon said.
“Through funding received from the Townsville City Council, we have been able to facilitate both runners to travel to our city for this event, building on our international profile.”
The Japanese runners will be joined by more than 200,000 “virtual” participants in China. They will run the 42km course using the Codoon app, recording their time as if they were physically in Townsville.
Chair of the council’s Sister City Committee, Cr Ann- Maree Greaney, said the number of Chinese participants exceeded the city’s population.
“Our objective now is to leverage from this great interest from the Chinese market,” she said.
“If we were fortunate enough to at- tract even 1 per cent of these virtual competitors to Townsville for the event in 2018 we would be thrilled.”
Mr Gordon said he was thrilled at the response to the virtual marathon.
“Our international participants will be recorded and those who complete the course will be sent a Townsville Running Festival medal,” he said.
For more information, and to register, visit townsvillerunningfestival.com
ON THE RUN: Miyuki Takano and Masaki Hirayama on The Strand ahead of the Townsville Running Festival.