Photo: Athletics NSW and Parkinson's NSW team at the Media Launch, Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Photo: Athletics NSW and Parkinson’s NSW team at the Media Launch, Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sydney-siders of all running abilities will be able to take part in a new  carnival at Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday August 28 when two flagship events, the Parkinson’s NSW Unity Run and Walk and the Greater Bank Sydney Half Marathon, are combined for the first time.

Unity Run and Walk is a  run and walk and the major annual fundraiser for Parkinson’s NSW.  The Greater Bank Sydney Half is one of the marquee events in the RunNSW Fun Run series calendar.

The half marathon will require three 7km loops of Sydney Olympic Park. The first 7km lap doubles as the Greater Bank Fun Run. There will also be a 4km Unity Run and a 4km Unity Walk.

Last year’s Greater Bank Sydney Half winner and Rio bound Olympic marathon competitor Scott Westcott, who will compete in the race one week after competing in the Rio Olympic Marathon, said the run is a sensational mix of flat and slightly undulating terrain. “The three lap circuit is also a terrific way to run a half marathon, particularly with the fun runners completing the first lap with the half marathoners,” Mr Westcott said.

Athletics NSW CEO Duncan Tweed said it made sense for them  to partner with Parkinson’s NSW and combine the events.  â€œWe can assist Parkinson’s NSW with the delivery of their event maximise the profits going back to help people with Parkinson’s,” Mr Tweed said.  â€œThe addition of a half marathon gives both recreational runner and the Parkinson’s fundraiser the chance to stretch their endurance,” he said.

Parkinson’s NSW CEO Miriam Dixon said “we are excited about working on this event with Athletics NSW, all our existing events have been maintained with only the 8km fun run reduced back to 7km, but I doubt that many runners will complain!”.

Now in its 9th year, all profits from the popular Parkinson’s NSW Unity Walk & Run go directly to helping people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers and funding research into a cure.  Parkinson’s NSW CEO Miriam Dixon said “We hope that our regular fundraisers get on board with the new format and new fundraisers emerge from the partnership with Athletics NSW. The half marathon is something we had thought about but were not sure how to activate. I am positive that many of our regular participants will consider the 21km distance.”

Greater Bank Penrith branch manager David Saad said the carnival was a great event for professional runners and families of all running abilities to have fun, get active and support a great charity.  “This event is one of 11 RunNSW fun runs Greater Bank is supporting across NSW,” Mr Saad said.  “As a customer owned bank our focus is on supporting our customers and community,” he said.

Registration is  now open and will run right up until the gun goes for the event on August 28.

The cost is $60 for the half marathon, $45 for the Greater Bank 7km and Unity 4km runs, while the 4 km Unity Walk is $30. Children pay $20 and family entries are available. For more information and to register, visit www.sydneyhalf.com.au  or www.unitywalkandrun.com.au

Media Contact: Athletics NSW. Daniel Laus, 02 9746 1122 / 0401673239 daniel.laus@nswathletics.org.au

Parkinson’s NSW. Clare Audet, 0431 200 435 clareaudet@parkinsonnsw.org.au