Sixth months to the day it last ran, the Launceston Running Festival is back.
Moved to December 13 last year after COVID postponed the original date, the event will revert to the usual winter timeslot of June 13 in 2021.
Boasting a range of events including a mile, 5km, 10km and half-marathon, the festival is once again set to attract some of the country's biggest names.
Last year's 10km race was won by Gen Gregson and Jack Rayner - the same pair who saluted in last weekend's Run the Bridge in Hobart - and race director Richard Welsh is expecting the competition to be even hotter in an Olympic year.
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"Last year we had the third-fastest time ever run for a half-marathon on Australian soil, so we know our 10km and half-marathon events are naturally world-class and will attract the best runners - particularly leading up to an Olympic year.
"It's perfect timing for our athletes who are in the 10km and marathon in Tokyo to come and have a pre-race hit-out here around six weeks before the Olympics."
The focus of this year's event is to get more community members involved in the day.
Welsh wants to see another 1000 Tasmanians - and particularly Launcestonians - take part in the event in an effort to promote healthy living in the state.
With more than 14 weeks until festival goes ahead, Welsh is offering first-time athletes the chance to pursue their fitness goals with the help of world championship marathon runners Josh Harris and Milly Clark.
"Part of our focus in 2021 is to find local community heroes and people that have never done an event like this before and are looking for something to spark a bit of change in their lifestyle to get more active," he said.
"We'll partner them up with a coach, gear them out with some running gear and complimentary entries and we look forward to following their journeys.
"Having an athlete like Milly or Josh to be your personal coach is pretty enticing."
The Clifford Craig Foundation is the festival's charity of choice in 2021, with funds raised going towards anti-smoking research.
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