Running: Beach to Brother event set to return to Mid North Coast on September 24

Claire Bradshaw in action during her win in the female competition last year. Photo: Nashyspix

Claire Bradshaw in action during her win in the female competition last year. Photo: Nashyspix

2016 BEACH to Brother full-marathon winner Claire Bradshaw will return to defend her crown in this year’s event on September 24.

After the success of last year’s event, organiser Mick Maher said there would be a more “family friendly” option this year.

“We thought we would give people the option of a five-kilometre run this year which will start at the Laurieton swimming pool from the ages of eight and up,” he said.

“We had the full and half-marathons and the 10-kay run last year but there wasn’t really anything that was family friendly.”

Organisers were looking for an even bigger and better event this year, using a similar format to last year.

Maher said only two people didn’t finish any of the events last year in the allocated time and as a result, they have extended the time limits for each of the events.

Competitors will have seven and a half hours to complete the full marathon event, four hours to complete the half-marathon.

The 10-kilometre run is expected to take no longer than three hours to complete while the family-friendly five-kilometre event should take no longer than two hours.

“It means you can easily walk the five-kilometre event in that time,” Maher said.

“It also makes it better for mum’s and dad’s who want to walk it with their kids.”

Organisers still wanted the half and full marathon events to be as competitive as possible, but Maher acknowledged the need to appeal to families.

The lack of a family-friendly event last year was the main feedback we got. - Beach to Brother organiser Mick Maher

“The lack of a family-friendly event last year was the main feedback we got,” he said.

“But overall there wasn’t much more we could do that didn’t work – it all went very smoothly so we’ll run the same event again.”

Maher said they had received positive feedback from National Parks and Wildlife Services about participation levels increasing and more people visiting natural surrounding areas.

“There was nothing negative about last year’s event and the main thing we received was raising an awareness about some of our local attractions,” he said.

It is unknown whether last year’s male marathon winner Peter Loveridge will return. He completed the full-marathon course in a time of three hours, 36 minutes and 59 seconds.

Brett Weick won the half-marathon in one hour, 47 minutes and 31 seconds, while Alison McLachlan was the first female to finish the half-marathon in one hour, 58 minutes and 42 seconds.

Entries are now open, head to www.beachtobrother.com.au, or search “Beach to Brother” on Facebook.

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