Our series partner, Greater Bank is giving you a very special opportunity at this year's race! For some people, just the prospect of running 15km is scary enough. If you're brave enough to tackle the Fernleigh Track on October 20, we're giving you the chance to snag...
Congratulations to all participants in the largest ever Fernleigh 15!
Sunday 20th October
5 runner Relay | 15KM
The 8th annual Fernleigh 15 is the one opportunity for runners and walkers to complete the entire length of the Fernleigh Track without traffic or bicycles. The 2019 event will again feature a 5 person relay and this year also features the #FREAKYFERNLEIGH medals to anyone who runs in a spooky costume!
Why run the Fernleigh 15?
This is the only chance to run on the iconic Fernleigh track which will be closed to all other traffic! The course is a certified 15 km and will also feature the NSW 15 km Championships. Regardless of your ability the Fernleigh 15 is an experience, not just a run. Pass through suburban settings before running through the iconic Pacific Highway tunnel linking Newcastle and Lake Macquarie jurisdictions. Run through the leafy Glenrock reserve and then past the historic coastal town of Redhead. The run culminates with a ripping last km over boardwalk sections of paperbark swamp and finishing at the Belmont railway platform.
Online Entries Open Until 8:00am Sunday 20 October
Online entries still open until the ‘gun goes’. Enter online through any device.
Late Entry Fees (October 8 to October 20)
Individual $60 | Team of 5 Relay $100
Get Freaky at this year’s Fernleigh!
For some people, just the prospect of running 15km is scary enough. If you’re brave enough to tackle the Fernleigh Track on October 20, we’re giving you the chance to snag $1,000!
With Halloween just around the corner, we want you to run the Fernleigh 15 in your spookiest costume and share your race-day experience with us!
What’s more, the first 250 runners in costume to cross the finish line will receive a custom Fernleigh 15 medal!
Runner’s Pack Collection
Race pack collection will be held at the Rooftop at Westfield Kotara. As a part of your race pack you wont have a timing chip to lace in your shoe. Your chest bib will include a timing device. Chest bibs can be collected at race kit collection before race day. You can collect your race kit at the following locations;
11:30am – 6pm Friday 18th October: The Rooftop, Westfield Kotara
9am – 5pm Saturday 19th October: The Rooftop, Westfield Kotara
6am – 8:00am Sunday 20th October: St Pius X High School, Adamstown
One Distance, Two Great Races
The 2019 Greater Bank Fernleigh 15 will offer runners the chance to compete as an individual and complete the 15km course by themselves or as a part of a 5 runner relay. This relay is exciting and popular providing runners of all ages and abilities to run the Fernleigh if 15km is a little too far!
2019 – All finishers to receive medals!
The Fernleigh 15 course remains unchanged from the first time it was run in 2012. This means you can compare your performances from year to year and know that only your fitness has changed! The course is 15.00km and has been verified by an AIMS Qualified Grace C course measurer. In 2019 we will be awarding unique finishers medals to all individual participants who complete the 15km journey and RunNSW medals to all Relay Runners who finish their leg.
Team Event – The 5 Leg Relay
This year will be the third running of the 15km relay divided into 5 individual run legs. Each run leg will have a change over zone at each Railway Station along the track. Runners will wear a sash from the start to the finish and will complete one of the 5 relay legs. The minimum age for relay runners is 8 years old (Primary School age) making it suitable for school teams.Detailed Relay Info Sheet
1. There are TWO team categories; Kids or Open.
2. All runners shall ride on a bus from St Pius X to their start leg (private transport is not permitted). At the conclusion of their run and transported to the finish line at Belmont. As there will be TWO buses to get runners to each location there will be an ‘early bus’ and a ‘late bus’ transporting runners to the Belmont finish area.
3. There are 5 legs of varying distances all taking in a station to station leg – see the map below. Teams must nominate which runner is completing each leg they are doing at the time of registration.
– Leg 1: Adamstown to Kahibah (3.1km)
– Leg 2: Kahibah to Whitebridge (2.1km)
– Leg 3: Whitebridge to Redhead (4.1km)
– Leg 4: Redhead to Jewells (2.5km)
– Leg 5: Jewells to Belmont (3.2km)
2. The first runner from each team starts from Adamstown at 8:15am.The finishing time of the 5th runner shall be recorded.
3. The bus fee is included in the team entry fee, however a Return bus to St Pius X from Belmont is not included
4. Age limit is 5 years. NOTICE: WE HAVE ADULT CHAPERONE RUNNERS WHO WILL RUN EACH DISTANCE WITH THE KIDS. (Parent chaperones may run with their own children. A disclaimer form must be completed at check in and a seat on the bus is NOT guaranteed.) Additionally you can request to be an official relay event chaperone.
5. Marshalling at St Pius X for Leg 2 and Leg 3 Runners is 7:15am SHARP for 7:30am departure
6. Marshalling at St Pius X for Leg 4 and Leg 5 runners is 7:45am SHARP for 8:00am departure
7. Marshalling at St Pius X for Leg 1 runners is 8:05am sharp for a 8:15am relay start.
Event Day Details – The Start
The Fernleigh 15 has a Marshal Time and a Start time! This is because we gather runners together in their wave at St Pius X High School and perform a nice little 5min walk to the start line. Please note your marshal time and your start time below.
Wave Start Times
Wave 1: Wheelchair competitors 7:55AM
Wave 2: Runners Seeded/Open wave 8:00AM
Handcycle competitors at the back of Wave 2
Wave 3: Runners 35-44yrs 8:05AM
Wave 4: Runners 45-54yrs 8:10AM
Wave 5: Runners 5 leg relay 8:15AM
Wave 6: Runners 55+ & Walkers 8:15AM (right behind the relay starters)
Wave Marshal Times
Marshalling 1: Wheelies on the start line 7:50AM
Marshalling 2: Runners Seeded/Open 7:50AM
Marshalling 3: Runners 35-44yrs 7:55AM
Marshalling 4: Runners 45-54yrs 8:00AM
Marshalling 5: Runners 5 x leg relay 1st leg runner 8:05AM
Marshalling 6: Runners 55+ & Walkers 8:05AM
The Start Area – St Pius X High School, Adamstown
The Start Area is St Pius X High School, Adamstown. This is where participants can check in, park their car, visit the bathrooms and receive on the day race instructions. There is ample parking along with toilets, bag drop, warm up facilities and a coffee vendor all nearby. Runners shall be escorted from the start area to the start line in waves. The waves shall be brought together at St Pius X quadrangle just near the check in location (School chapel) and then led down to the start line following the route marked in yellow above. Ushers will lead the group down to the start line arriving 10 minutes before their allotted start time (listed above). Officials will call participants from the Start Waiting Area to the Start line 5 minutes before the Start Time.
Car Parking and the Shuttle Bus
Cars may be left at St Pius X High School until 12:00pm. Kotara Westfield will also be available for parking is within walking distance of the start event area. Westfied Kotara is located off Park Ave and Northcott Drive.
A shuttle bus service will run every 15 – 20 minutes from the finish line back to St Pius X. Purchase your bus ticket when you register. Bus tickets will be in the form of a sticker that can be stuck to your event bib.
Timetable of buses Departing Belmont Tafe
945 | 955 | 1005 | 1020 | 1035 | 1045 | 1055 | 1125 |1145
Bag Drop and Transport
A complimentary bag drop and transport service will be available to take bags to the finish line from the Start Area. Bags will be left in a ’secure baggage’ area at the Belmont finish line for collection after the race. No items are to be left at the start area. It is NOT recommended that you place precious items in transported bags.
Event Day Details – On the track
Newcastle Flyers Pace Groups
We are pleased to announce that the Newcastle Flyers will provide pace groups for any runners to join in in order to reach their target times. These runners will be well identified at the start and will wear a tall flag. The pace groups are:
1. 4:00 min per km pace = sub 60:00 (this group will be start with WAVE 1)
2. 4:30 min per km pace = sub 1:07:30 (this group will start with WAVE 2)
3. 5:00 min per km pace = sub 1:15:00 (this group will start with WAVE 3)
4. 5:30 min per km pace = sub 1:22:30 (this group will start in WAVE 3)
5. 6:00 min per km pace = sub 1:90:00 (this group will start in WAVE 4)
Should you want to run with one of the pace groups you will need to ensure that you start in the SAME WAVE as your chosen pace group.
Aid/drink stations will be provided at the start, finish, 3km, 5.1km, 9.5km and 12km marks. Electrolyte drink and water will also be available at the 9.5km, 12km and finish line water stains. First Aid will be located at several points along the course and the finish line. There is also toilets at Whitebridge and Redhead.
The event requires over 50 volunteers. Most of these volunteers will come from local athletics clubs and other community groups. If you or your group are interested in volunteering please contact event organiser Scott Westcott via email email@example.com
Event Day Details – The Finish
Greater Bank / Hit 106.9 Family Fun Zone
The finish line of the 2018 Fernleigh 15 will be a little different with a fun zone hosted by Hit 106.9 and Greater Bank. There will be things to do for kids and supporters while you collect your medals, grab a drink and enjoy some fruit while catching up with mates.
Greater / Hit 106.9 Family Fun Zone
Music, fruit stand, give aways, jumping castle, backyard games and more.
This will be a family friendly fun zone to hang out while you wait for your loved ones to finish their run!
Sprocket Coffee Van
The Sprocket Coffee van will be at the finish line for spectators and participants alike. Belmont Lions BBQ
The team from the Lions Club will be cooking up breakfast snacks including bacon and egg rolls and cool drinks. The stall will be a fundraiser for the work that they do in the local Belmont community.
Hearty and healthy snacks will be on offer at our Fernleigh 15 food truck cafe. Stay after your run or get there early to enjoy a sunday breaky treat!
Pure Performance Sports
PPS will be showcasing some of the latest footwear and clothing. They will be set up in the carpark beyond the runner recovery zone. Head in and check out the range.
NextGen Physion Post Event Treatment
http://nextgenphysio.com.au/ Will be offering short treatments at the finish line. Head in and talk to the team about how to get on the front foot with your recovery.
The ‘Afteryard’ Recovery Zone
David Roberston and Andrew ‘Doddy’ Dodd will be bringing you all home at the finish so make sure you offer them a hi-five before entering the sacred ‘Afteryard.’ The zone where only runners can go and exchange sweaty battle stories. We will have plenty of water and a little bit of electrolyte for you in the ‘Afteryard’. The bag drop van will also pull up adjacent to the afteryard.
All places aside from the overall top three will be taken from ‘Net Time’. This is the time recorded for each participant from the time they cross the start line until the time they cross the finish line. Gold, Silver and Bronze RunNSW medals will be awarded for top three males and females and wheelies are as follows. Cash prizes will be awarded for three categories only; Top 3 male, female and Wheelchair athletes. These will be based on ‘gun time’.
Overall Cash Prizes
Apply to top three male, female and wheelchair competitors.
1st – $500
2nd – $300
3rd – $200
Individual Categories awarded medals
Masters + (45-54yrs)
Team Categories awarded medals
Note: The minimum age for participation is 14yrs and all categories are age on the day.
Seeded runners are those capable of finishing under 60 minutes OR participating in the NSW 15km Championships. These runners are permitted to start at the FRONT of the Open Category wave.
Teams for Individual 15km Runners
Individual 15km runners can form teams. Teams can be of any size with the top 4 finishers from a team to score.
To enter a team simply ‘create’ new team in the registration portal and have your friends select it when they enter. There is no added cost to create or join a team.
Results will live via NSW live results. Final results will be available from the results tab and from live results here.
The Fernleigh Track is a multi-use rail trail near Belmont in New South Wales. The track was constructed in the way of the former Belmont railway line. The project is a joint venture between Newcastle City Council and City of Lake Macquarie.
The track extends from Adamstown to Belmont over an approximate distance of 15.5 km.
The former railway closed in December 1991. The first section between Adamstown and Burwood Road opened in 2003. Construction has continued in stages with the final section between Jewells and Belmont completed in March 2011.
For an estimated 6,000 years, the Fernleigh Track area was home to the indigenous Awabakal people. They lived amongst the rich natural environment and utilised the resources of the open and rocky coastline, swamp land and hilly forests.
Rail construction began in the late 1880’s, and the Adamstown to Belmont railway line was opened for traffic early in the 1890’s. It was used to transport coal from the mines in Lake Macquarie to the port of Newcastle and the Newcastle steel works.
In addition to coal haulage, a passenger service existed between Belmont and Newcastle. The trip took around one hour and was frequently used for weekend excursions from the city. When coal transportation began to decline, the service and maintenance of the line decreased.
In 1967, a switch from steam to diesel rail motors was made, before the scheduled passenger service was finally terminated in 1971. Throughout the 1980s, closures of coal mines along the line increased.
After the Lambton Colliery shut down operations in 1991, use of the line ceased completely.
The Transformation Process
Guided by the Fernleigh Track Committee the transformation from former rail corridor to treasured community asset began in 1994 after the joint purchase of the land by the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle City Councils.
In 1999, the development of a shared pathway was proposed. Funding from both Councils and the NSW State and Federal governments allowed construction to commence with a significant focus set on restoration and preservation. Different sections were completed in stages, spanning 2003 2011.
– 1880 – Rail line opened to Redhead
– December 1916 – Rail line extended to Belmont
– 12 October 1922 – Special train left Newcastle for the opening of “Soldiers’ Memorial Hall” at Kahibah
– January 1925 – Redhead Loop name changed to Fernleigh Loop
– 1967 – Last passenger steam train to Belmont
– 8 April 1971 – At 17:10 the last rail passenger train to Belmont via Kahibah left Newcastle Station
– 19 December 1991 – Rail line closed
– 2 February 2003 – Adamstown to Kahibah Station stage of the Fernleigh Track (cycleway) opened
– August 2004 – Dudley Junction to Whitebridge Station section of Fernleigh Track completed
– 7 May 2005 – Kahibah Station to Whitebridge Station section officially opened
– November 2009 – Whitebridge Station to Redhead Station section of Fernleigh Track completed
– November 2010 – Redhead Station to Jewels section of Fernleigh Track completed
– 12 March 2011 – Fernleigh Track fully completed
– 21 October 2012 – Inaugural Fernleigh15 running/walking event
The Fernleigh 15 takes in all 6 stations of the Fernleigh Track: Adamstown, Kahibah, Whitebridge, Redhead, Jewells and Belmont
An interactive course map is below. To view the map make sure your browser allows third party scripts.
2019 Greater Bank Fernleigh 15 News
Tuesday 13th August 2019 Entries are now open for the 2019 Fernleigh 15 which is set to attract more than 1,200 runners of all ages and abilities when the starter’s gun goes off on Sunday 20 October. Part of the Greater Bank Fun Run Series, the iconic running event is...
Organisers of this year’s Fernleigh 15, part of the Greater Bank Fun Run Series, are again aiming to attract a big field for the iconic running event that will take place on Sunday 21 October. Launched today in Adamstown, the 15km event that takes in the Fernleigh...