The Launceston Running Festival is back this weekend and for one lucky group, it's graduation day.
For the first time, the 2021 Launceston Running Festival saw the creation of the Running Rookies program.
The six Running Rookies are Launceston locals from different backgrounds and fitness levels, with one thing in common- they want to give Launceston's biggest fun run event a go.
The Rookies were all gifted with $500 worth of Brooks running gear, free event entry and provided training with Launceston's world championship marathon representative Josh Harris for eight weeks.
One of those rookies is 12-year-old Archie Payne, who competed in his first 10km run during last year's Launceston Running Festival and is hoping to improve his time.
His time of 44 minutes last year was already impressive, something that Archie and his mother Allie Payne were unaware of until recently.
"Last year we thought 'oh that's cool'. This year we're realised how good that time was" Mrs Payne said.
After achieving such a competitive time last year without any formal training, Archie is hoping for a new personal best of under 42 minutes in Sunday's fun run but concedes that it "will be tough, very tough".
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Competing with three different basketball teams on top of his running training, Archie is excited that his newfound love for long distance running will help to improve his game on the court as well.
"I think it'll help my speed running up and down the court," Archie said.
As the only member of his family that enjoys long distance running, the Running Rookies program has given Archie valuable guidance and support from Tasmania's most famous long-distance runner.
"It's made me a better runner. The interval training makes me more consistent and pushes me," Archie said.
With a new personal best of under four minutes per kilometre, Archie is ready to hit the track on Sunday and put all his training to the test.
Archie is so keen to show off his new skills, his new mate Josh Harris had to insist the twelve-year-old take Saturday off to rest his legs before the running festival.
"But I've still got basketball on Saturday," he said.
The Launceston Running Festival is on this Sunday with the first race starting at 8.30am.
Entries are open online until 3pm Saturday at www.launcestonrunningfestival.com.au.
Follow the journey of all the Running Rookies on Facebook @TasRunningFestival.
- Bathurst Street Lindsay Street to Ciminitere Street south bound lane only
- Margaret Street Brisbane street to Paterson Street
- West Tamar Road/West Tamar Highway Margaret Street to Lower Charles Street to Deans Lane south bound lanes only
- Goderich Street Lindsay Street to Gleadow Street south bound lanes only
- East Tamar Highway Gleadow Street to George Town Road/Rocherlea connector
- University Way George Town Toad to East Tamar Highway
- Mowbray Link Invermay Road to East Tamar Highway
- Forster Street Invermay Road to Montague Street
- Doyne Street Gleadow Street to Lindsay Street
- Montague Street Intersection of Gleadow Street
- Northcote Street Intersection of Gleadow Street
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