Port Macquarie Running Festival will maintain its status as one of the only sporting events around Australia to have continued unaffected by COVID next month.
The event has grown in stature so much over the previous 10 years that festival director Kevin Chilvers believes it now rivals Ironman Australia in competitor numbers.
Around 3000 runners are set to head to the region.
"We've been very lucky with Port Mac, but you make your own luck," he said.
"The numbers tell the story now where we've got similar numbers to Ironman, but we don't take over town, we try to work in with town.
"We've got a really exciting event that has grown from six or seven years ago where there was 1000 participants to now where we have 3000."
An increase in competitor numbers over the years resulted in several bottlenecks which forced organisers to create a new course this year that will take in more of the foreshore.
Mr Chilvers said the half-marathon course has been reduced from three laps to two with the start line now at the skatepark.
"It will now be a 1.1km run into town where they'll get the practice of running up the finishing chute and then realise there's still 20 kays to go," he said.
"The congestion issues from the increase in numbers were hindering possible growth so we've gone and made it a much more expansive course. It will take in more of the foreshore area."
Runners will come from all over New South Wales with one group of 50 to travel from Gosford.
"These are the people that want to choose Port Macquarie for a weekend away because the kids participate on Saturday and the adults on Sunday," Mr Chilvers said.
"We've really created something that appeals to the whole family and it's not necessarily all about the fast people. It's about people getting out there, putting the shoes on and challenging themselves."
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