Registrations open for annual running festival
THE Airlie Beach Running Festival is expecting bigger and better things in 2015, as registrations go live online.
The third instalment of the annual event, which will be held on July 18-19, offers the half marathon as part of the North Queensland series, the Port of Airlie 10km, the Balance Podiatry 5km, a three-person relay team race incorporated into the main race, the 5km Corporate Team Challenge as well as the new 2km Sea Star Kidz Fun Run.
The injection of athletes, and their support crew, has been welcomed by the executive director of Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited, Jeff Aquilina, who called the event, hosted by the Whitsunday Running Club, an annual highlight on the region’s calendar.
“The event has proved very popular with both locals and visitors from nearby and afar, and we are looking forward to another great event in 2015,” he said.
Of the 389 participants in 2014, 38 per cent were from the Whitsundays while 52.8 per cent were interstate competitors – a number the Whitsunday Running Club is hoping will increase.
Local tour and ferry operator Cruise Whitsundays has shown confidence in the event by providing major sponsorship for the second straight year.
Cruise Whitsundays chief executive officer Nick Hortle said the event had clearly shown its potential to bring tourists to the area and, as a sponsor, is also offering special tour deals to encourage attendees to stay in town longer.
“Since the inaugural event in 2013, it has attracted a significant number of competitors and spectators from outside the region, giving the whole town an economic boost,” he said.
“It’s a great event for our community – many of our staff participated in last year’s event and are looking forward to being involved again with their friends and family.”
Registration is available through www.whitsundayrunningclub.com.au/events with a discounted rate available until May 31.
OFF AND RUNNING: Airlie Beach Running Festival organiser Wendy Downes with Cruise Whitsundays CEO Nick Hortle. Mr Hortle and Cruise Whitsundays will again be major sponsors of the annual event.