Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW BACK­HOUSE

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 townsvillerun­ningfes­ti­


ON THE RUN: Miyuki Takano and Masaki Hi­rayama on The Strand ahead of the Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val.

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