A NEW record of 2000 competitors is being targeted by organisers of January’s Surf ’T’ Surf Fun Run Walk.
As registrations open online today for the 32nd running of the event, director Ben Anderson said a number of new initiatives had been introduced in a bid to attract more than this year’s 1640 athletes.
He said a new event, a 3km Lap of the Lake, would be staged as well as the 10km and 6km run and 6km walk.
“With the introduction of the new event, we believe that 2000 is very achievable,” he said.
The lap of Lake Pertobe, to be headlined by Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Steve Moneghetti, has been designed to attract young and older participants who might have been daunted by the 10km and 6km events.
“When we introduced the 6km run a lot of people saw that as a stepping stone to the 10k,” Anderson said.
“This just provides a lower entry level.”
He said a number of athletic events in Warrnambool in summer were not competition to the Surf ’T’ Surf, which will be held on January 6.
“The Warrnambool region is being spoilt for choice with sporting events, particularly through summer and autumn with the foreshore triathlon, open water swimming events, summer running series, cycling and mountain biking and now Sufferfest, the Surf ’T’Surf is a great way to put the festive season behind you and kick your training season off on the right foot.”
He said organisers wanted to increase participation to achieve their mission of promoting active lifestyles.
While primary school pupils already participated in the Surf ’T’ Surf, Anderson said organisers had introduced a new incentive for youngsters. They have created a primary schools’ challenge where the school with the highest participation rate, based on a percentage of the school’s population, will receive $1000 for sporting goods or a sports program.
“We want the Lap of the Lake to appeal to families. We think that if the kids get involved, mums and dads might too and it’s all about encouraging active lifestyles and healthy pursuits among children,” Anderson said.
“If the children’s first involvement in an event such as the Surf ’T’ Surf is a fun experience, they are more likely to get out and be active with their parents and siblings.”
He said Moneghetti would return for his second year as ambassador for the event and he would run with kids in the Lap of the Lake.
Registrations for the 10km and 6km events will be restricted to online. Participants in the 3km event can enter on the day but are encouraged to do so online.
He predicted the teams event would grow as participants were encouraged to enter sides with as many entrants as they wished, with their top-five times counting for prizes.