The Fernleigh 15 is already underway for 2020, but don’t worry, you still have plenty of time to cross the finish line in this new-look event.
Social distancing restrictions have meant the iconic running event is taking on a new format this year with a virtual fun run to be held from 1 to 30 November.
Participants of all ages, abilities and fitness levels can test themselves against others in the community by covering the 15km track at any time throughout November.
Event host, RunNSW is encouraging participants to take on the iconic course and run the full 15km track from Adamstown to Belmont or enter a team of five to each cover 3kms. For those who want to participate in the event but can’t get to the track, they can cover the 15kms in their own neighbourhood or around their favourite running area.
This year’s event is also aiming to raise much needed funds and awareness for charity partner, Lifeline Hunter, a local organisation that operates a free, 24-hour Telephone Crisis Support line (13 11 14) and provides a local, no cost, no referral, face-to-face and video counselling service.
Greater Bank will donate $1 per kilometre run by participants up to $5000 to Lifeline and is encouraging participants to also raise funds for the charity that will directly support Lifeline’s services in the Hunter.
Athletics NSW CEO, Kirin Lindop, said that like other sporting organisations they had to transform the traditional Fernleigh 15 to ensure the running community remained active and connected during these challenging times.
“Since its first running in 2012, the Fernleigh 15 has grown in popularity, with last year’s event attracting 1,600 participants. While we’d love to replicate that this year, COVID-19 restrictions has meant we’ve had to do things differently by creating a month-long virtual event,” Kirin said.
“This year has been like no other and the effects on communities right around Australia, in particular relating to mental health, have been profound. We know there is an intrinsic link between physical health and mental wellbeing. Exercise not only improves a person’s physical health but also their mental wellbeing by reducing stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
“As such, we saw a wonderful opportunity to use the Fernleigh 15 as a platform to promote positive mental health, and also raise funds for Lifeline Hunter to allow them to continue to provide their invaluable resource for the people of this region,” Kirin said.
All runners located within 100km of Newcastle who complete the event can upload proof of their time to receive a finisher’s medal and go into a draw to win one of six $100 Greater Bank accounts.