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Entries are now open for one of Coffs Harbour’s largest homegrown sporting events, the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival, on Sunday September 8. The Running Festival is now in its ninth year and attracts approximately 1,600 participants annually from all over Australia.

The event has something for all ages and abilities with the choice of a 21.1 km half marathon, 10 km fun run, 5 km run/walk and the 3 km family fun run/walk – all held on the picturesque Coffs Creek Walkway.

“We are so lucky to have this unique running track in the middle of our town that takes in many beautiful sights such as the Botanic Gardens, Coffs Creek and Park Beach,” said Event Director, Sinclair Black.

The scenic course takes participants from the Coffs Harbour Showground through forests of mangrove and melaleuca trees, over floating boardwalks and along the shady banks of the Coffs Creek. It is mostly flat and provides the ideal off-road trail for runners and walkers of all standards.

For those keen to enter and looking for some motivation in the lead up to race day, there are some great local training options. Parkrun is a free, timed 5 km event open to all levels and takes place at 7am every Saturday morning from Park Beach Reserve, Coffs Harbour as well as on Urunga’s Boardwalk.

Another group training opportunity are the RETRO running sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Fitzroy Oval. Suitable for all abilities, coach Andrew Rowlings provides technique advice and tips to all comers for sessions on $5 a session.

The Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival is not just for the individual runner. It caters for teams, families, school students, workplaces and community groups. “Many proudly wear their school or corporate colours and run as a group. Key Employment usually has the largest contingent, with over 100 participants proudly sporting their red active wear each year.”

“The best training advice in preparation for the event is to be consistent,” said Sinclair. “Don’t overdo it, warm up and stretch before each run and build up your distance slowly. And, I would highly recommend running or walking the course and getting familiar with the track before race day.”

The Running Festival raises money for local charities and has donated over $180,000 back to the community since the inaugural event in 2011.Life Education, Coffs Coast Autism, Camp Quality and Early Connections are among the organisations that will benefit again this year. These charities assist on the day by manning the water stations on the course and cheering on the competitors as they run by.

The Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour is also instrumental in ensuring a well-run event. Their volunteers help set the course and the finish chute, man the BBQ and provide marshals around the course.

For more information and to enter the 2019 Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival on Sunday 8th September, go to Early Bird specials are on offer until 31 July.

Coffs Coast Focus Magazine


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