11 April 2024

Virtual events bring international field to 2024 running festival

| Lyndon Keane
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The Weipa Running Festival continues to rise in stature each year, and the 2024 event is shaping up as no exception. Photo: Cape York Weekly.

Technology will give the 2024 Weipa Running Festival (WRF) an international flavour when competitors lace up their shoes in July.

While all eyes will be on the Weipa courses for the official race day on 21 July, a series of virtual events being held from 9-21 July will allow competitors from all over the world to take part in Cape York’s premier running event.

WRF president Rose Robins said the virtual format would ensure the tyranny of distance would not exclude runners from testing themselves, adding the event’s marathon record was still held by a visitor.

“The marathon record is held by Adrian Royce from Brisbane, however, thanks to our virtual component, we can boast runners in Singapore and, this year, Chicago [in the] USA,” Ms Robins said.

READ ALSO Weipa runners gearing up for their grand final day

Both the official race day and virtual races will offer full marathons (individual and team), half marathons (individual and team), a 10-kilometre event, a 5km event and a fun run.

The Mission Team event will bring an exciting new element to the festival this year, and will consist of one participant in every race on the day, with the winning team set to be crowned for having the shortest elapsed race time.

Local school spirit will also be on show on race day, with students from Western Cape College’s Weipa and Mapoon campuses, St Joseph’s Parish School in Weipa, and Napranum’s Kluthuthu Christian College set to go head to head in an interschool and sports house competition.

“It will see who has the most entries, and a perpetual trophy and bragging rights are up for grabs,” Ms Robins said.

“Be sure to register your school or sports house in your registration.”

READ ALSO Weipa Running Festival bolstered by NQBP community fund

The family fun run will be a timed event over the 2.5km course, however, due to the fun element suggested by its name, no placings will be awarded.

Ms Robins said the 10km event was always the most popular of the festival, adding she believed Weipa’s limited elevation and natural beauty was a big drawcard for runners.

“It’s a unique beautiful landscape; there isn’t much elevation, if any, which often appeals to some runners, too,” she said.

“It’s been great to see travellers who are chasing their parkrun statesman tie in both Weipa parkrun and our running festival at the same time.”

For more information about the 2024 festival, visit www.weiparunningfestival.org.au.

Weipa siblings Bridie and Elsie Maher at last year’s Weipa Running Festival. Photo: Cape York Weekly.

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