Festival a big affair for the family

RETRIBUTION could be on the cards for the Heeney family tomorrow as they once again make the Tamworth Running Festival a family affair.

Daughters Sophie and Ella will race against father Anthony in the five kilometre event, while mum Jodie takes her turn at administrative duties on the ground.

While both daughters are out to beat dad, they also have a score to settle between themselves as they use the event to warm up for the Cross Country Nationals in Albany WA next weekend.

Last year, older sister Sophie was leading the race and ran into the back of the longer distance runners pack.

She missed the turnaround on King George Ave and ran almost three kilometres further than necessary.

In the meantime Ella took the lead and ran home to break the tape and stand on the podium.

“It’s a bit of a sore point in the family,” Jodie said.

“There is a bit of competition between them and this year is a great chance for them to beat Anthony.”

“He has had the flu all week.”

The two girls should both be at the peak of their running power with the Nationals looming.

The cross-country is a four kilometre track, and the girls use the festival every year as a final race before the big event.

Ella finished second at the State Championships to qualify while Sophie qualified through a five race series.

As part of the Tri-Club Jodie is taking her turn as a marshal.

“It is a busy day and this year I thought I would actually give a hand,” Jodie said.

“I have already been beaten by the girls before but they haven’t beaten Anthony.”

This year Jodie has made sure that Sophie or anyone else won’t make the same mistake with the course being slightly adjusted.

It may not just be the Heeney show however, with plenty of other talent signed up to run across all events.

2012 five kilometre winner and last year’s Tamworth Ten winner Megan Isbester has stepped back to the shorter course and will be thereabouts at the finish.