Olympic marathon runner Milly Clark to line up for Port Macquarie Running Festival

First timer: Milly Clark (right) competes at the Capital Classic at Newtown Park in Wellington in 2012. She will visit Port Macquarie for the first time on Sunday when she participates at the running festival on Sunday. Pic: GETTY IMAGES

First timer: Milly Clark (right) competes at the Capital Classic at Newtown Park in Wellington in 2012. She will visit Port Macquarie for the first time on Sunday when she participates at the running festival on Sunday. Pic: GETTY IMAGES

MORE than 1000 competitors will converge on the Hastings this weekend for the fifth annual Port Macquarie Running Festival.

Not a runner? Team up with your family and friends and enjoy the picturesque four kilometre walk and talk.

Race director Peter Camilleri said the biggest drawcard would be Olympic marathon runner Milly Clark.

Clark will use the event as part of her training program for Rio after she qualified for the Olympics by running a two-hour, 29 minute marathon in Amsterdam last October in her second ever marathon.

"To have someone like Milly heading to Port Macquarie and visit is a real privilege," he said.

"She's never been here before."

All competitors crossing the finish line will receive medals, fresh fruit and ice cream for their recovery, whilst the youngsters will also receive a fun pack.

Mr Camilleri said being in its fifth year made the event even more special.

"It's just great to see that here we are five years down the track because when it first started it was more due to passion on my part because I thought at the time there were events in Sydney and Newcastle and I wanted to offer one here on the Mid North Coast," he said.

"It encourages health and fitness and some of the people on Sunday weren't even running five years ago."

Mr Camilleri said the biggest event on the day would be the half marathon which kicks off on Sunday at 7am from Town Green with more than 300 people expected to participate.

"The key to the event is having your different races which allows mum and dad to do the half marathon and then be finished so they can watch their kids complete the four or two kilometre fun runs," he said.

"I'm all about tourism and it gives us a chance to showcase Port Macquarie."

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