2017 Tasmanian Running Festival welcomes families to winter running

On a crisp, still winter morning in Launceston’s City Park, families were out in force to take part in the Tasmanian Running Festival.

The increasingly popular winter event saw large crowds brave the chilly morning to join the Launceston Two race, with parents pushing prams, children running for gold, and relatives on the sidelines cheering them on. 

Hamish Cook and Bianca Anderson were the two-kilometre race winners, warmly welcomed by the rugged up crowds lining the streets. 

In a close second place behind Hamish’s time of 07:38:6 was Jobie Wescombe, followed by Griffin Poke.

Bianca Anderson took out the girl’s race with a time of 07:57.5, followed by Bonnie Talbot in second, and Zahli Wescombe in third.

Sisters Ally and Erin Wilson, who go to Punchbowl Primary School, were joined by dad Ben along the two-kilometre race.

A determined athlete, Ally took part in the training clinic held at City Park on Saturday, backing up her previous competitive races at Symmons Plains and in cross country with a fast run through the Launceston Two. 

Likewise the Harper family – father Adam and girls Matilda, 9, and Chloe, 6 – ran a good race despite Matilda admitting she doesn’t particularly like running.

“I just did it for this,” she said, holding up her medal.

Meanwhile friends and neighbours Stella Hogarth and Amelia Buchanan, both 7, took the race together.

Stella said she liked running fast, and running with her dad and friends as well.

“It was fun,” Amelia said, adding that she liked to run fast.

“We used to [go to school together],” Stella said, but now the friends go to Sacred Heart Primary School and Tamar Valley Steiner School respectively.

In the athlete’s village a number of outdoor heaters created a strategic and welcome place of warmth where runners and spectators could defrost before venturing back to the starting line.

The five-kilometre race was strongly attended with children, teens and families likewise hitting the pavement.

By mid-morning the crowds had gathered along the streets to cheer on Launceston’s own Josh Harris in the premier race, the Launceston 10.