Great walk is this weekend

THE annual 'Run the Whitsunday Great Walk' trial run is on this Sunday, September 23, beginning at Brandy Creek at 8.30am.

This world class trail run takes participants through the rugged terrain of the Conway National Park and showcases the natural beauty of the area.

The track traverses rainforest and flowing freshwater creeks before climbing the arduous slopes of Mt Hayward with breathtaking views of the Whitsunday Islands and finishes with a final descent into Airlie Beach.

Mackay Roadrunners are hosting the event for the sixth time, and they already have over 100 entrants with strong interest coming from all over Australia.

Running this unique track is open to participants of all fitness levels, from professional athletes to novice runners while the six hour cut-off allows walkers to complete the 28 km event within the cut-off time.

"The great thing about the event is that it is for everyone. We have everyone from elite runners through to the hardy group of walkers who come back every year to participate," Mackay Roadrunner Nickie King said.

The race finishes at the Airlie Lagoon which provides a great place for runners and walkers to relax, recuperate and grab a coffee and a bite to eat before the race presentations. The local helicopter service teams up with the SES and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to provide crucial emergency back up for any runners that may injure themselves along the track.

"The rugged terrain and remoteness of the trail is what makes the run so unique. It's the only run I know through Queensland's tropical rainforest," Mackay Roadrunner Martin Lambert said.

"Last year we had runners come from all over Australia to Airlie Beach to do the run and spend a few days in the Whitsundays. We even had a couple from Germany who based their holiday around the event."

While it is a demanding course with many steep sections, participants of all fitness levels have trained for and completed the course within the 6 hour cut-off.

Participants will be bussed to Brandy Creek from the Airlie Beach lagoon area where they will assemble between 6.30-7.30am before a short race briefing ahead of the event's start at 8.30am.

For more information and to register online for the event visit www.whitsundayrun.com or email whitsundayrun@gmail.com


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