Running festival’s 20,000 reasons to smile

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VILLAGE Sports, organisers of the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival, together with The Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour, is excited to announce it has distributed $20,000 from the 2016 event to local charities and community groups.

At a special sponsor’s function the funds were distributed to local charities and very worthy recipients, Early Connections, Camp Quality Coffs Harbour, Life Education and Coffs Coast Autism.

St John Ambulance, Friends of the Botanic Garden and Friends of the Coffs Creek Walkway were also beneficiaries from the proceeds of the event.

Each of these organisations supports the event by providing volunteers to ensure its smooth operation. They assist with tasks such as managing the water stations, ensuring the track is in good shape and first aid.

More than 200 volunteers from the local community helped with the many tasks required to run an event of this magnitude including setting up and dismantling the finish chute, leading the runners around the course, registrations, marshalling, manning the water stations and running the barbecue.

More than 1600 competitors took part in this year’s running festival, which was held on Father’s Day.

Event director Mick Maley said he was thrilled with the success of the 2016 event.

“We had ideal running conditions, with a mild temperatures to start and a warm, clear day,” Maley said.

“Everything ran very smoothly thanks to our huge team of volunteers and the feedback from all involved has been extremely positive.”

The event is growing significantly each year with numbers having almost doubled since its inception in 2011.

The running festival has been recognised by Destination NSW as regional flagship event for the past three years, with an expression of interest in place for the next three years.

Bendigo Bank branch manager Warren Hughes has promised to be back next year as the main sponsor and looks forward to continue to grow and improve the event and attract participants from all over Australia to the Coffs Coast.

The introduction of the Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge this year proved to be extremely successful as well, with more than 400 school students signing up for the challenge.

The official 2016 running festival highlights video can be viewed on the Village Sports website: villagesports.com.au

The date for next year’s Bendigo Bank Running Festival has been set for Sunday, September 3.

Read the full story on the Coffs Coast Advocate

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