ORGANISERS of Portland’s 3 Bays Marathon have called for keen runners to sign up for the scenic but gruelling event.
Portland Runners Club committee member Ryan Weissel said the club hoped a record number of runners would face the starter on November 3.
The record is 324 for both the 42.2-kilometre marathon and 21.1-kilometre half-marathon, set in 2011.
The November event marks the 30th anniversary of the event and organisers hope to celebrate the occasion by setting a new mark.
“It’s really good timing because the Melbourne Marathon occurs three or four weeks before the Portland 3 Bays Marathon,” Weissel said.
“People have spent six months training for Melbourne. Once they finish that, they say ‘what’s the next big thing to do?’.
“Portland would be on a lot of people’s agendas.”
The 3 Bays Marathon coincides with the Portland Upwelling Festival on November 2 and the Portland Rotary Club art show from November 1-3.
The name reflects the marathon course taking in Bridgewater Bay, Discovery Bay and Portland Bay.
“The course is very hilly and scenic, unlike the Melbourne Marathon, which is a very flat course,” Weissel said.
“You go all the way from town out to where you see the wind farms and oceans.”
Weissel said organisers were actively engaging schools and businesses in the hope they would enter teams in the relay event.
He said a commemorative 30th anniversary book, covering the history of the event, would be available to buy on the day.
“It’s been run every year (since 1983) except for one year when it was too windy and the event was called off,” he said.
“But a number of runners were still keen. They said ‘we’ve trained up, we’ve come all the way to Portland’ and they did it anyway.”
Barry Rogers claimed his third consecutive win in the marathon last year in two hours, 37 minutes and 36 seconds.
Lisa Wilkinson won the women’s race for a second time, in three hours, 24 minutes and 30 seconds.
For more information, visit www.portland3baysmarathon.org.au