Air­lie Beach fes­ti­val does it again

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Car­ruthers

ONCE again, the weather gods smiled upon the Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val.

A gloomy day met the run­ners at the head of the course on Sun­day but the rain did hold off and most com­peti­tors fin­ished their races with­out get­ting wet.

Event di­rec­tor Wendy Downes OAM promised this year’s event would break records and she was right.

More than 650 com­peti­tors took to the course at the week­end and Ms Downes said she de­rived a great sense of sat­is­fac­tion from see­ing com­peti­tors en­joy the event.

It wasn’t all joy how­ever, with some con­fu­sion over the di­rec­tion of the course dur­ing the 5km event.

Ms Downes said mark­ers had been re­moved and thrown in the sea around the Port of Air­lie and there were a num­ber of vol­un­teers that didn’t show up on Sun­day.

In re­plac­ing the ab­sent vo-

lun­teers young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced mar­shals were en­listed.

“It wasn’t our fault, it wasn’t their fault. These things hap­pen,” she said.

“We are not blam­ing any­body apart from the peo­ple that pinched the sig­nage.”

In a ges­ture to­wards those with af­fected times, Ms Downes said run­ners in the 5km event would be granted free en­try to next year’s race.

The mix up didn’t af­fect any other dis­tances.

Photo Peter Car­ruthers

CRUIS­ING: Nick Hor­tle with Cruise Whit­sun­days team chal­lenge par­tic­i­pants Emily Liu, Riana Young, An­drea Scharnech, Lau­ren Scar­cella, Merri Kirkham, Alya Palmer and Stephen Fitz­patrick.

The start of the 5km event and (inset) pace run­ners around the Port of Air­lie. Photos: Peter Car­ruthers

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