The Fernleigh Track is the ‘must do run’ for any running enthusiast in Lake Macquarie, the Hunter Region and beyond.
‘The track’, as it is passionately called, is the ultimate running course and on Sunday October 18 the track will be, for a few hours, the sole domain of 1500 runners of all ages and abilities as they set forth from Adamstown to Belmont in the fourth annual Lake Macquarie Fernleigh 15.
Hosted by RunNSW, and organised with H Events, the Fernleigh 15 starts from the Newcastle City Council boundary and finishes in beautiful Lake Macquarie.
“We are proud of our well-renowned Fernleigh Track and also proud to partner with Athletics NSW in the delivery of this wonderful community event,” Lake Macquarie City Council Mayor Jodie Harrison said.
“This event continues to grow in popularity, attracting 900 participants in 2012, to almost 1400 last year.”
Part of the success of the Fernleigh 15 is the involvement of the social running groups of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. The Newcastle Flyers, Wooters running group and (Pink) Night Striders are three groups of runners who take to the Fernleigh Track for the annual event as well as their regular training runs.
“We have a running group of over 100 people with a core group of about 50,” Evergreen Flyer Richard Palmer said.
“We love our Sunday run along the Fernleigh Track where the pace has been quickening in preparation for the Fernleigh 15. Our group will be out in force, keen to set new Personal Bests and get involved in this event,” said Palmer.
The Wooters Social Running group provide heaps of encouragement, lots of colour and plenty of ‘wooting’ at the event.
“We have about 470 members of all abilities, shapes and sizes and everyone with their own goals” Wooter d group member Nick Stabler said.
“After we found our name, Wooters, we 'borrowed' a well known logo and came up with the ‘woot’ calls during our runs. It's the loud 'woot', the variety of people and overwhelming positive attitude that has seen us grow” he continued. “At the first Fernleigh 15 the Wooters were starting out as a group and we enjoyed it so much we volunteered at a water station the next year, so we feel like we have grown along with the event”.
According to event organisers, the Wooters are just one of several groups who turn up on event day in their team colours and make the Lake Macquarie Fernleigh15 the fun and inclusive event it is.
This year’s event will see the Wheelchair athletes will start off first, covering the course in a blistering 35minutes. Newcastle legend Christie Dawes and 5 time Paralympian will compete on her favorite training route for the first time in a tune up for the New York Marathon. She will be challenged by young guns Bradley Pemberton from the Central Coast and Luke Bailey from Taree who was first across the line in 2014. Following the wheelchairs will be the Men’s and Women’s elite runners before the remaining field.
The Lake Macquarie Fernleigh 15 is one of ten Greater Fun Run Series events being held across NSW in 2015. These fun runs are organised by Athletics NSW’s RunNSW team and are sponsored by the Greater Building Society;
Greater Building Society Head of Marketing and Distribution Matt Hingston said The Greater is helping to get the Hunter running and having fun. Mr Hingston said as a customer owned banking organisation The Greater puts its profits into supporting community through events such as the Fernleigh 15.
“I encourage people to join The Greater and other sponsors in building this event to be one of the biggest in regional NSW and a great event for the local community,” Mr Hingston said.
Entries are $40. Every participant will receive a finisher’s certificate and there will be medals for the major age categories. For more information, to enter the Lake Macquarie Fernleigh 15 visit www.fernleigh15.com.au