They're off for the start of the 5km event in the Coffs Harbour Running Festival. 4 September 2016 Photo: Brad Greenshields/Coffs Coast Advocate
They're off for the start of the 5km event in the Coffs Harbour Running Festival. 4 September 2016 Photo: Brad Greenshields/Coffs Coast Advocate Brad Greenshields

Record numbers enjoy Running Festival

MORE than 1,600 participants took the picturesque Coffs Creek Walkway this morning for the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival.

Event co-director Sinclair Black admits he gets blown away by the continual growth in the number of people who take part.

"I know when we first started I think it 400-500 people and you have another year after that and you get to 800 and you think is that your limit,"

"Now we're more than double that and sometimes you think is 1,600 our limit.

"Who knows what will happen next year because more and more kids talk about it. We know kids have dragged their parents here today because we've had the Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge and they're like 'c'mon, you've got to be in it'."

While there were big numbers in the 3km and 5km events, all eyes were on the half marathon finish.

Legendary runner Steve Moneghetti has been a part of the running festival every year but not even he was able to keep up with half marathon winner Reece Edwards.

Edwards finished the 21.1km event in a time of a little more than one hour and 10 minutes.

It was a fast time that runner-up and professional triathlete Lindsey Wall admits was way too quick for him.

"Reece was pretty fast out there today," Wall said.

"I don't think even on a good day I would've beat him."

Edwards said he might've been

"I set my watch for an hour and 10 but then I surprised myself. I was running quite well but then the 18-19km mark I really blew up, I got a stomach stitch and stuff,"

"I was a little disappointed that happened but it was still a good run."

Although he lives in Canberra now where he's studying physiotherapy, Edwards said growing up in Coffs Harbour had its advantages.

"This is my first time doing the event but obviously whenever I'm home, I've run the Creek Walk a hundred times probably,"

"It's a lovely course and I knew it off by heart which helped."

Moneghetti finished in third position while local runner Joseph Kane was the fourth male across the line and sixth overall.

The leading female was leading cross country runner Celia Sullohern who finished the course in a time of 1:22.20 ahead of North Boambee Valley runner Leah Fitzgerald.

See Wednesday's Advocate for more stories.



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