26th September 2012
(Coffs Harbour, 24th September 2012)
Perfect conditions and blue skies greeted the runners for the 2nd annual Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival on Sunday. Almost 1,300 competitors took part in the four races on offer – the half marathon, 10km, 5km and 3km fun runs held on the Coffs Creek Walkway.
Very excited to be back on the Coffs Coast, Steve Moneghetti successfully defended his half marathon title in a time of one hour, sixteen minutes and 41 seconds. He said after the race, “That is one of the best and most unique courses I have run on and despite the hot day it was still very cool under the shade of the trees.”
Taking the minor placings in the 21.1km event were Luke Harrison from Lennox Head in 1.19.44 and in 3rd spot was Ben Webeck from Coffs Harbour in 1.20.24.
In the female division, Victorian Susan Michelsson crossed the line first in a time of 1:24:28 with Belinda Murray from Hamilton, NSW finishing second in 1:26:52. and in third place was Courtney Knyvett from Coffs Harbour in 1:29:47.
In the 10km race, 18-year-old Cameron Pensini from Port Macquarie took line honours in 35 minutes, 33 seconds. Paul Woodhouse, 50 from Dorrigo was very close behind in 35.40 and 17-year-old Matthew Berrington from Boambee East finished third in 37 minutes flat.
The 10km race for females saw 17-year-old Britney McMullen from Safety Beach cross the line first in 38:14, followed by Kate Heyward from East Ballina in 41:06 and Melissa Bulloch from Emerald Beach in 41:33.
Dominating the presentation ceremony were the young runners in green from the Coffs Coast Flyers training squad. 14-year-old Jai Lyons from Coffs Harbour took out the 5km fun run in a time of 17.37 and 15-year-old Karlie Swanson from Urunga was the fastest female in a time of 18:59.
Over 160 volunteers from the local community including the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour helped with registration, marshalling, timing, handing out water to the thirsty runners and manning the barbeque for the hungry competitors.
Healthy Harold from Life Education Australia was giving out high-fives and water during the races and 5-year-old Tully Black who competed in the 3km event was overheard saying, “Dad, that was the best water I’ve ever tasted”.
Event organiser Mick Maley couldn’t wipe the smile from his face after the event, “It was the perfect day. Everything ran very smoothly thanks to our huge team of volunteers and the smiles on the faces of the runners said it all.”
Coffs Harbour Bendigo Bank Branch Manager Warren Hughes has promised to be back next year as the main sponsor to continue to grow the event and make it even bigger and better.