Port Macquarie Running Festival
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Port Macquarie Running Festival

As a runner, I have taken part in the Port Macquarie Running Festival many times during its 8-year existence. As timer, it was one of the events I always wanted to work at, being so full of my friends and in a part of the world I know well. This job has always been ably managed by my colleague Chris, from The Timing Guys, but this year he was unable to attend and so offered me the gig, and I jumped at it.

After being established and run for many years by my friend and triathlon clubmate Peter Camilleri, the event is now owned and run by Kevin Chilvers, along with sister event, the Forster Running Festival. Under Kevin, the event has grown in size and prestige, attracting elite runners and world-class athletes, and setting attendance records every year.

It would be one of the largest events I have attended on my own, apart from some large triathlons and trail events that have happened over multiple days, and I was excited by the challenge of providing timing over multiple timing points for over 1300 runners, as well as around 100 crazy people who were doing a combination of the half marathon (21.1km), 10km and 5km races – referred to as the Treble Breakwall Challenge. Some of these runners would be finishing their previous leg well after runners in their next event had departed. Challenge indeed.

I would also be working alongside Newcastle running legend Dave “Robbo” Robertson, who was acting as MC and race commentator – a job he relishes. I have worked with Dave before at numerous races, and always find his company stimulating. He does keep me on my toes however, with some curly questions.

The race precinct is situated in the perfect spot on Town Green, adjacent to the waterfront, and follows the shoreline and breakwall in both directions, with multiple laps of the course depending on the event. Runners are never out of sight of the water, and the finish line is a hospitable place, with the official recovery area, plus 3 pubs, numerous coffee shops, food outlets and a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store close by.

As expected this year, course records were broken by both first and second place in the half marathon, as well as first place in the 10km. Some of the runners who figured highly in these races, also went on to place highly in the Treble – notably Jack Colreavy, who ran a 1:07 half marathon and a 33:40 10km to clock a shade over 2 hours for all three events, back to back. Second place Mike Carroll was almost 13 minutes back despite an impressive 1:16:xx in the half.

I’m now looking forward to returning to Port next year for the event, with some valuable lessons learned and new skills unlocked. Many thanks to Kevin and his event team, and to Rydges Hotels, plus my many friends from Port Mac and surrounding areas. See you next year!

Full results can be found on The Timing Guys’ portal here.

Picture credit – TLC Photography Port Macquarie

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