The new-look 2017 Tasmanian Running Festival proved a hit with competitors and supporters alike, with registrations doubled from last year.
Event organisers said they were “thrilled” with the response to the inaugural two-day Festival Village, with local food and drink trucks offering hot food, coffee and drinks in City Park.
Described as a test for a larger festival next year, the festival atmosphere encouraged people to stay in the park, maintained a focus on local Tasmanian produce.
While the main race, the Launceston 10, was taken out by two Victorians – David McNeill and Sinead Diver – Tasmanians made their presence felt, during the races, in City Park, and around the course cheering on friends and family.
Event organisers pointed to the relocation of the festival to City Park as a part of the increased attention paid to the festival, creating a safe and welcoming environment where families could enjoy a bite to eat and a drink after participating in the races.
“The new organisers who have taken on the event made some subtle changes, but the nucleus is it has always been a great race because it’s so fast, it’s so flat,” media manager Rick Fontyn said.
“The increase [of entrants] essentially comes down to all the locals taking part.”
He said the development of a more festive atmosphere encouraged participation for a wintry event when few other festivals or events are held.
With the opportunity for Tasmania’s rising stars to rub shoulders with Olympic and international athletes, the festival is expected to continue growing in popularity.
“Looking at it from an elite point of view, it was one of the best quality fields that Australia’s had over a 10 kilometre road race in many years,” Fontyn said.
Check out The Examiner’s mega-galleries of the 2017 Tasmanian Running Festival: