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After 2 years of postponements and cancellations the much-loved Fernleigh 15 running event will return on Sunday 23 Oct. The event, which is a 15km run/walk event from Adamstown to Belmont on the Fernleigh Track, is recognised as a ‘must do’ event on the local and state running calendar due to the unique staging and course configuration of the event. Started in 2012 by local Rio Olympic Marathon runner, Scott Westcott, in conjunction with local sports event organiser Paul Humphreys and Athletics NSW, the event attracted over 1500 runners in 2019 but has not been staged over the COVID period. In 2022, Paul Humphreys has been appointment as the Event Director and will stage the event in conjunction with local running club, Newcastle Runners and a collection of running groups and supporters. Lake Macquarie City are providing funding to promote the event nationally.  ‘We are proud to be once again part of the organising team’ said Humphreys. ‘It is great to see the Hunter running community back together after 2 year’s of COVID and natural disasters. We expect elite runners and total novices alike to have a go at the exceptionally beautiful course’.

With the previous relay option for runners assessed as too risky, this year’s event will also feature a replacement race called the Fernleigh 1500, which is a 1500m run targeted at encouraging children to run. With the 1500m run being staged at the end of the main event, it is expected over 2000 spectators will cheer the children runners’ home, creating a memorable experience for your runners. ‘Getting children excited and motivated to run, is what it is all about’ Humphreys said.

Some interesting facts about the Fernleigh 15:

  1. The event starts in Adamstown and finishes at the old Belmont train Station
    1. The Fernleigh Track is a former rail line that was converted into a walking and cycle track in 2011
    2. The new Kotara Athletes Foot super Store located just one kilometre away has become the naming rights sponsor for 2022. This sponsorship allows a total prize money pool of $4000 to be divided equally between female/male in both overall and wheelchair divisions.
    3. The winning times are around 47 minutes with slowest run/walkers around 2 hours.
    4. Due to the relatively small assembly area at the Adamstown end of the Track (the start), runners are required to assemble at St Pius X college grounds and are escorted in waves down a path to the start area. Both students and teachers will assist at the marshalling area and raise funds for school projects.
    5. An electronic start matt records each runners start and finish time to determine the final ‘net’ time finishing order, except for the elite and wheelchair waves, who have a ‘gun’ start time.
    6. The course is the full current Fernleigh Track with 216m added in Cowlishaw St Redhead to make the distance an ‘officially accredited’, 15km.
    7. The course is about 2.5km in Newcastle Council area and 12.5km in Lake Macquarie Council area.
    8. At the 2km mark the course runs through an old railway tunnel which goes under City Road. The track also passes under Dudley Rd and Oakdale roads.
    9. The Track is traffic free however does have 4 points where traffic crosses the course and will be under traffic control management at Dibbs St, Burwood Rd , Cowlishaw St, Kalaroo Rd
    10. The course passes through Adamstown, Dudley, Jewells, Whitebridge, Redhead and Belmont
    11. The course is 5km slightly up hill until Whitebridge and then 10km slightly down.

Organisers are expecting as many as 2000 runners in the main 15km event and plenty of interest in the new Fernleigh 1500 children’s event as well.

For comments or further information contact Paul Humphreys on 0409684246 or email paul@hevents.com.au

Posted by: Paul Humphreys
11 August 2022

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