Launceston Ten's big step

THE organisers of this year's Launceston Ten have announced that the Sunday, June 15, race will incorporate the Oceania 10-kilometre road running championships.

Athletics Tasmania president Mike Gunson says that the addition of the Oceania title represented the next step in the growth of the event.

``The willingness of Oceania Athletics to award the championships to the Launceston Ten indicates the standing in which the event has quickly come to be held,'' Gunson said.

``Rob Gillard and his team put on a high quality, safe and well-organised event on a fast, flat course, that is attractive to both elite runners and grass roots participants alike.''

Gunson said that the inclusion of the Oceania Championships furthered the partnership between Athletics Tasmania and the Launceston Ten - which again includes the Tasmanian Road Running Championships in 2014.

The Oceania component will involve the contesting of six individual championships  in open, under-20 and under-18 categories for men and women.

Race co-ordinator Gillard said that the awarding of the Oceania championships to the race was a welcome addition.

``We have been going for eight years now and we know that we are ready to expand further by moving from being well recognised national event into the international sphere,'' Gillard said.

``Becoming the major 10km road race in Oceania is a logical path to follow and we are honoured to be considered ready to take on the mantle.''

Oceania Athletics is one of the six regional associations of the International Associations of Athletics Federations, the world governing body of athletics.

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