Set for the big­gest one yet

Fes­ti­val to bring big Airlie crowd

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - Dane Lillingstone dane.lillingstone@ whit­sun­day­times.com.au

RUN­NING: It’s one of the big­gest an­nual sport­ing events in the Whit­sun­days and it’s set to get even big­ger this year with the Airlie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val re­port­ing regis­tra­tions are al­ready up on where they were in 2016.

Race di­rec­tor Tim Oberg said not only was it shap­ing to be one of their big­gest events, they’d also made a bunch of changes this year to make the event more ac­ces­si­ble than ever be­fore.

“It’s good to see so many peo­ple still look­ing to reg­is­ter, par­tic­u­larly post-cy­clone,” Oberg said.

“We’ve also had a larger than nor­mal in­take from in­ter­state this year and even New Zealand.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing and cer­tainly see­ing that the Run­ning Fes­ti­val is not just ap­peal­ing to lo­cals but to out­side our mar­ket.”

Not only will be there be a larger field this year, there have been sev­eral changes to the Airlie Beach course.

“Rather than it go­ing down to Ju­bilee Pocket last year, it turns around at the Port of Airlie so all the run­ning is con­tained from Can­non­vale Beach to Port of Airlie,” Oberg said.

“(Spec­ta­tors) are go­ing to see more ac­tion in smaller dis­tances. “For ex­am­ple if you’re sup­port­ing some­one run­ning a marathon, you would see them run past you eight times. “It’s a great spec­ta­tor course.”

There are also a num­ber of new events this year in­clud­ing the Heart of the Reef Marathon and the fam­ily friendly Tur­tle Club 1km fun walk.

“We want peo­ple to come on down, bring their kids or push a pram and just give it a go,” Oberg said. “We want the whole com­mu­nity to feel like they can par­tic­i­pate.”

The 5th an­nual Cruise Whit­sun­days Airlie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val will be held on Sun­day, July 16.

Regis­tra­tions are open and there are calls for vol­un­teers. Reg­is­ter at runair­lie.com.au.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

THEY'RE OFF: Run­ners on the start line of last year’s Airlie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val.

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