Entries are open for the 45th Annual Tamworth Running Festival, with this year’s event aimed at “real people” who are returning to running or have never given walking or jogging a go.
There is something for everyone in the August 5 festival – a four kilometre community walk, a 5km fun run, a 10km run and a half marathon. There is also the dash for cash – where competitors test their speed over a 100m sprint.
Tamworth Triathlon president Warren Ansell, a physiotherapist, said: “We’ve created the Tamworth Running Festival Community Challenge. The Challenge is designed for real people to train with Tamworth Triathlon Club and give our 4km walk or our 5km run a go.
“You don’t need to be an athlete to enjoy a fun run. We’re just looking for people who want to try a 4km walk for the first time.
“People are busy with work commitments, children and the shorter winter days. It’s hard to find time to train, and it can be daunting too.
“We’re looking for real people who can make their lives better by exercising with friends and making a great, fun physical achievement.”
Ansell said there was “nothing good about walking or running on your own”.
He said it was much better to do those activities with “like-minded people”
“So we’ve created a space, with support, where people can do it together,” he added. “Many people feel embarrassed about their fitness. This is a no judgement zone where we all get in together and help each other out.”
The Tamworth Running Festival Facebook page is ready, with running, swimming and bike coaches and a physiotherapist available to provide support and advice.
“The Tamworth Ten Facebook page will answer any questions you have about your training you can message us or make a comment,” Ansell said. “You should definitely tell us about every training session you do too so we can encourage you and help you along.
“For the first time we will be running training sessions leading up to the event. They are free and you can attend as many as you like. There will always be someone to encourage you along, or perhaps just keep you company.
“We are looking for people to get on board. People can join the Tamworth Running Festival Community Challenge by signing up to the Tamworth Tri Club Facebook page and we’ll get you started.
“In our local area 72 per cent of us are overweight or obese. We are among the fattest communities in NSW. Tamworth has the highest number of cardiovascular deaths in the state.
“Fortunately it’s not all bad news. Most of us want to do something about our sedentary lives and get active and there’s no better time to get started than now. We know that physical activity such as walking and bike riding can make our hearts healthier, give us more energy and make us feel happier.”
For more information go the event’s Facebook page or just show up to any of the training sessions. They are for beginners and include morning walks and gentle jogs.
Tamworth Running Festival Training (with volunteers from Tamworth Triathlon Club): Every Sunday at 9am. Meet at the Kable Street entrance to No.1 Oval (where the Tamworth Running Festival is held).
Walking with Heart Foundation walkers:
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30am – meeting at the stage at Bicentennial Park
Tamworth park run: Run or walk part of the 5km park run. It’s on every Saturday at 8am.
Get healthy Information and coaching service: A free telephone coaching service designed to assist individuals in increasing their physical activity and improving their eating habits. https://www.gethealthynsw.com.au
“Tamworth Triathlon Club is for real people, families and people who just want to give exercise a go,” Ansell said. “You won’t find a more supportive crowd. Many of our members have only been exercising for a short time and work to finish events rather than win them.
“We run duathlons for adults and children once a month on a Sunday and in summer we run short, entry-level triathlons on Saturday afternoons in Kootingal. We also make the Tamworth Running Festival happen.”
The Tamworth Running Festival wouldn’t be possible without the huge support from Bob Jane T-Marts, PRD Nationwide, Tamworth Shopping World and Newcastle Permanent.
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