The Launceston Marathon will get longer and shorter in its second year, with a 100km and 5km race set to be added to the program.
Like the half and quarter-marathons already included in the program, the two new races will both take in circuits of Heritage Forest behind UTAS Stadium.
Race director John Claridge said organisers were expecting a bigger turnout than last year’s inaugural Marathon but would give the 100km event time to grow.
“We had 330 competitors across the three events last year and numbers are looking higher than that already,” he said.
“We’re quite impressed with the way it’s looking and the talk that’s around about the event.
“Tassie’s got a couple of ultras but we don’t have a real road-based type ultra so we wanted to put one on that’s quick and attainable for everyone.”
This year’s marathon will be held on Sunday, September 23 and with any luck will enjoy more friendly weather than graced its debut instalment.
A keen ultra-marathon runner, Claridge is in the process of locking in some well-known Tasmanian athletes and expects the prospect of a quick, flat course should attract some talented runners.
“We’re talking with a couple of local (athletes) at the moment.
“It’s very unique in the respect of road running - most road-running races are on road this one is technically off-road but it’s a similar course.
“The current parkrun that we hold here is held on the same course and is within four seconds of being an Australian record at the moment so it’s a very quick course here.”
Claridge said the race would not clash with others on the Tasmanian calendar.
“One of the reasons we situated Launceston marathon where it is in September was we were trying to fit it between a lot of the other local events.
“Tassie’s a small place so we don’t want to hurt everyone else.
“Launny is three weeks after the Ross marathon so they can use that as a good lead-in to ours and we’re three weeks before Melbourne marathon and a lot of locals go and do that now.”
This year’s event will also include the introduction of lightweight, reusable water pouches to eliminate the need for plastic cups and help cut down the waste produced on the day.
The Launceston Marathon is guaranteed to return in 2019 after securing backing from St Luke’s Health.