Record numbers expected for annual long weekend Elleker Running Festival’s half marathon

Harry GrigsonAlbany Advertiser
Last year’s Elleker Running Festival half-marathon start.
Camera IconLast year’s Elleker Running Festival half-marathon start. Credit: Laurie Benson

An estimated 300 eager runners will brave the forecast wet and windy conditions on Sunday for Albany Athletics Club’s annual Elleker Running Festival.

The half-marathon is the hallmark event for the run fest and the club confirmed they will have a record number of athletes tackle the gruelling 21.1km race.

The event is held in Elleker, about 15 minutes west of Albany, with the 10km run, 10km walk, 2km dash and 1km dash joining the half-marathon as the available divisions.

The field for this year’s event is wide open with last year’s half-marathon winner Matt Maguire not returning to defend his crown.

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While wet and windy conditions are expected, race director Carl Heslop said strong numbers again for the 28th edition is promising for the growing event.

”It’ll be great weather for running,” he said.

“After the first kilometre it becomes irrelevant and it actually pushes you for a PB.

“Although we are are attracting new runners each year, the most pleasing aspect is having people return to run again and having that runner retention.

“There will be people from Perth running, Busselton, Bremer Bay and other areas of the Great Southern but it is also pleasing to see a lot of local people from Denmark, Mount Barker and Albany take part in the event.”

Mr Heslop said the 10km dash will be hotly contested with a strong field of talented local runners set to line-up alongside last year’s winners William Liitiaeinen and Kate Pritchett.

Each event will start and end at Elleker Hall with the half-marathon starting at 8.30am, before the 10km walk begins at 8.35am.

The 1km and 2km dash begins at 8.40am and the 10km run starts at 9.05am.

Online registrations close at 5pm on Thursday.

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