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North-East residents are being encouraged to mark August 18 and 19 in the calendar and prepare to take part in the inaugural Rail Trail Run and Ride.
The new event will be held across the Saturday and Sunday on the North East Rail Trail, between Scottsdale and the Billycock.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Scottsdale and supported Ultrain, participants will have the chance to run or ride distances ranging from two kilometres to 56 kilometres.
Event coordinator Tess Moore said it was about showcasing the rail trail and the North-East as a region.
“The rotary club saw it as a fantastic opportunity to showcase the rail trail and its multi-purpose use for the broader community,” she said.
“We are hoping to provide a really positive atmosphere for locals and participants who may be new to the area.”
While planning for the event has only been underway for four months, the team behind it have worked tirelessly to get it up and running.
“It was an idea that escalated pretty quickly,” Ms Moore said.
“We have been lucky enough to have Ultrain’s support plus a number of our rotary volunteers.
“It is a sign people are excited about the event and it is positive for the community.”
Entry funds will cover the costs of running the event and supplying prizes and finisher gifts.
Hoping to make it an annual event, the organising team will use any additional profits from the 2018 run and ride to plan and host future competitions.
“Any leftover profit will be used by rotary for future events and maintenance of the rail trail,” Ms Moore said.
The running event will be held on the Saturday and the riding event on the Sunday, with both teams and individuals able to enter the longer distances.
There will be two, seven, 14, 28, and 56-kilometre events.
“There is something for all abilities and experience levels, from children or people with mobility restrictions to athletes,” Ms Moore said.
“Something that is quite unique about our rail trail is that at similar running events it is often hard for spectators to view the run because of access, but there are a number of points along the rail trail where spectators can see.”
So far, 150 people have registered to take part with online entries open until August 11.
“We are really excited to have 150 a month out from the event,” Ms Moore said.
“We are hoping for a crowd of about 300 including participants and supporters.”
For more information search for Rail Trail Run & Ride on Facebook. Anyone wanting to volunteer at the event should contact Tess Moore on 0409 912 706.
This article first appeared on www.examiner.com.au
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