Organisers’ wise decision to tweak event

Thomas Jefferson once said that “honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”.

Thankfully organisers of the the Launceston 10 also share this notion.

This was evident this year when organisers made the wise decision to create a new-look program for what was an under-performing Launceston 10.

Hats off to the organisers for embracing change and thinking outside of the square in an effort to increase participation in the race.

This year the event was named the Tasmanian Running Festival and was stretched across two days. 

The start and finish line was moved to City Park and a festival atmosphere was created with food and drink trucks. 

The end result was registrations increasing to more than 1600 runners. Increased local engagement was credited as the reason for the substantial increase. Organisers say the event is on track to hit 5000 entrants in just a few short years. 

Given that very few events happen in winter, the Tasmanian Running Festival is on the right track to continue to grow in coming years. A suggestion to shift the race forward a few weeks to not clash with Dark MoFo is a great idea.

Another improvement is to tap into the support the CBD can offer to an event like this running festival. People were quick to point out that very little was open throughout the Launceston CBD on Sunday.

Many businesses choose to not open on the average Sunday due to the current penalty rates. They argue they lose money on wages by opening on a Sunday. 

This argument has been the crux of the national penalty rate debate. On July 1, the Fair Work Commission’s recommendations for Sunday penalty rate cuts for retail, hospitality, fast food and pharmacy workers will begin to phase in.

While this debate is far from over, it does not hold up when discussing significant events. Sunday was clearly a missed opportunity for some Launceston retailers and cafes.

Arguably, small businesses may have based their decision to not open on previous crowd figures from the Launceston 10. 

Improved communication and a coordinated approach, which has been noted by organisers and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce and Industry, can only ensure the hard work and initiative of those responsible for translates into participation.