FRESH OFF his Olympic debut, marathon runner Scott Westcott arrived back in Armidale to launch this year’s fun run.
The annual event is in its fourth year and includes a two kilometre children’s run, the five kilometre fun run as well as a 10 kilometre race.
Armidale Athletics club’s Jay Stone said it was a great way to bring the community together to celebrate sport and fitness.
"I am a big believer that running is a fantastic foundation for a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
"I am pretty big on athletics and running in particular in Armidale and I think this is a great opportunity for people who go for a jog, or are involved in Parkrun or who are just trying to keep fit and active, to come along and be involved in a community event and get themselves a time at the end of the day and see where they are at and see what they can do over a five kilometre or a 10 kilometre.”
Last year’s event saw more than 350 people line up to start and the organisers hope to add to that number.
Stone said it is family based event and you don’t have to be a competitive runner to take part.
"From year to year we are just trying to get more people involved and the Parkrun community has been really helpful for that, trying to get people who come out every Saturday to come along and try to test themselves on a nice flat course,” he said.
We would love to attract a few of the winter sports players as well...
"We have teams in there, a lot of people have asked about that in previous years so we are trying to give the opportunity so businesses or schools can put a team together. There are plenty of people who do the fun run each year who will walk it or walk parts and run parts.
"We get people coming along in fancy dress outfits an just come out for the day and enjoy themselves.”
Westcott won last year’s 10 kilometre event and said it was a great atmosphere with participants turning up in droves.
The former University of New England student helped get the event started and hoped it would grow even further this year.
"After starting it four years ago, we didn't know where it was going to go but four years down the track it is still alive and healthy and it has really been driven by local sponsors and by the local athletics club,” he said.
"It is a family event, there is an event there for whether you want to walk or push a wheelchair or a pram, there is something there for everyone.
“We would love to attract a few of the winter sports players as well, so people who have finished their footy season, netball or whatever their winter sports are to come out and keep up their fitness. They have got six weeks now so there is time to put in a little bit of training.”
To enter visit http://www.runnsw.com.au/event/armidale-fun-run-2016/