Guests at 2017 launch include (L to R) LMCC Mayor Kay Fraser, New Lambton South Primary and St Pius X High Relay Teams, Angela Leadbeatter, Christie Dawes, Vlad Shatrov and Duncan Tweed

Runners of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take part in this year’s Fernleigh 15, part of the Greater Bank Fun Run Series, as the event organisers aim to attract more than 1000 participants to this year’s start line on Sunday 22 October.

Launched today in Adamstown, the 15km event that takes in the Fernleigh Track from Adamstown to Belmont and has become a key fixture on the region’s running calendar.

While some of the Hunter’s elite runners will be on the start line, including Paralympians, Kurt Fearnley and Christie Dawes, as well as 2015 and 2016 Fernleigh 15 winner, Kahibah’s Vlad Shatrov, the event is also looking to attract participants of all ages, regardless of their level of fitness.

Fernleigh 15 Event Organiser and Rio 2016 Olympian, Scott Westcott, said the inclusion of the Fernleigh Relay – a five-leg relay requiring each runner to complete a 3km stage of the course – will hopefully drive greater participation in this year’s event.

“The full 15km could be a bit daunting for novice runners, so we have introduced the relay to make the event more manageable and hopefully more attractive for those first-time participants,” Mr Westcott said.

“We want school groups, local businesses, sporting groups and even families to get their teams together and be part of this year’s event.”

The event starts at Adamstown with the first wave of runners leaving the start line from 8am. Runners will cross the finish line on the track at Belmont where they will be met by a series of activities and events for the whole family, as well as a ‘Pop-Up Party’ hosted by media partner, Hit 106.9.

The Fernleigh 15 is one of 11 Greater Bank Fun Run Series events being held across NSW in 2017. Chief Executive Officer, Scott Morgan, said that he was delighted to play a key role in bring to life a event that get so many people active in the community.

“The Fernleigh 15 is a wonderful community event that continues to grow in stature among the running community and popularity throughout the region. From elite athletes, through to weekend joggers and those who are just getting out for a walk, we are delighted that to play a small part in helping to promote the importance of leading an active and healthy life,” Mr Morgan said.

Entries to this year’s event are now open, with entries taken up until 8am on the day of the event. Entry fee is $50 for an individual and $90 for a team. All runners that complete the event will receive a participation medal, while prizes will be presented to the top three finishers in in each of the major categories, including open men’s and open women’s events.

FEATURED ATHLETES AT THE LAUNCH WERE

  • Christie Dawes – six-time Australian Paralympian and 2015 F15 winner.
  • Angela Leadbeatter – 2016 F15 Runner up, 2015 F15 winner, 1999 Empire State Building Stair Climb Champion, Beachrun Aussie Champ and Supermum and Coach!
  • Vlad Shatrov – two-time defending Fernleigh 15 Champion, 2:18 marathoner (Berlin 2015), 2017 Six Foot Track Marathon Champion, 2017 Comrades Marathon Finisher.

ALONG WITH …

New Lambton South Primary School’s Regional Cross Country Team that will be taking part in the Primary Schools relay.