Record run hopes high

Mercury (Hobart) - - ATHLETICS, BASKETBALL - JAMES BRESNEHAN

HUGE num­bers for the 2020 Ho­bart Run The Bridge are ex­pected to make it Tas­ma­nia’s largest fun run for the second year in the row, race direc­tor Richard Welsh said yes­ter­day.

A record 3893 took on the Tas­man Bridge last year mak­ing it big­ger than the City to Casino and Point to Pin­na­cle events.

Welsh said there was some­thing spe­cial about the Ho­bart Run The Bridge, the next edi­tion of which is on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 23.

“It’s a premier event with one of the best cour­ses in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“We have a great mix of elite ath­letes and ev­ery­day par­tic­i­pants, and there’s some­thing about hav­ing the bridge shut down once a year so you can run over it.”

Welsh said Run The Bridge’s main ri­val for num­bers was Point to Pin­na­cle, which starts at Wrest Point and fin­ishes on the sum­mit of Mt Welling­ton.

“We keep leap-frog­ging each other for num­bers each year — last year we had 3893 and they had 3750 and they will have even more this year,” he said.

Welsh said last year’s Run The Bridge event was the fastest 10km any­where in Aus­tralia.

This year peo­ple all over the world can do Run the Bridge’s “Vir­tual Run”.

“When peo­ple en­ter on­line, we’ll send them a Ho­bart Run the Bridge race bib, medal and in­struc­tions, and a leader­board will then run dur­ing the month of Fe­bru­ary and peo­ple can cover the dis­tance as many times as they like and send us their times,” Welsh said.

“It’s a new con­cept, but it’s grow­ing rapidly — 57,000 jog­gers re­cently en­gaged with the New York Marathon vir­tual se­ries, so we know it’s pop­u­lar.

“We’ve iden­ti­fied a num­ber of mar­kets we’ll fo­cus on, in­clud­ing the United States, China, Ja­pan, In­dia, UK and Brazil.”

Fur­ther in­no­va­tions in­clude an ex­pand­ing teams con­cept, with prizes for the largest cor­po­rate, school and so­cial groups, along with prizes for the best team names.

“Last year we had 243 teams. This is the heart­beat of the event, and it’s great to see peo­ple out ex­er­cis­ing with friends, families or col­leagues,” Welsh said.

“As a so­ci­ety we’re get­ting un­health­ier by the day, but it’s in­spir­ing to see peo­ple in their thou­sands train up and do their best on race day.”

Four events are on of­fer: the 10km Run; Huon Aqua­cul­ture 5k Run; Men­zies 5k Walk; and 1km Run/Walk. RUN THE BRIDGE, FE­BRU­ARY 23: EN­TER AT HOBARTRUNT­HEBRIDGE.COM.AU

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