UP AND RUNNING
Airlie Beach festival does it again
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.
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