RUNNERS and walkers are expected to once again flock to the Northern Bellarine this weekend for what has become one of the region’s most anticipated events.
The Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run at Portarlington, which is on this Saturday, February 9, will feature a half marathon, Port Phillip Ferries 10km and a 4km Walk 4 Head Space.
Spectators will line the trail between Portarlington and St Leonards to catch a glimpse of more than 1000 people in a massive conga like line.
Race organiser Dion Milne said if you were to ask people of their favourite memory of the event it was nearly always the holiday parks, where they had been hosed down, offered drinks, screamed at with encouragement and the few hundred high fives from families holidaying in the parks.
This year’s event sees all four winners of the 2018 event returning, including the two course record holders in the 21.8km Tash Fraser from Ballarat and serial racer and weatherman Nick Earl.
Meanwhile, for the third year running, the Sunset Run is again featuring its fundraising event – the 4km Walk 4 Head Space, where $20 of the $30 entry fee is donated straight to Bellarine Community Health Youth Services.
Organiser Liberty Milne said it was well documented that one in four young Australians between the ages of 12 and 25 would live with a mental health issue, and of those only one in four would seek help.
“So, the organisers think if their 4km walk can highlight these stats and make more of society aware that’s a good thing,” she said.
Fear not, you can run, stroll or shuffle the 4km: it is not restricted to walkers.
The beauty of this event is that all children 12 years of age or younger can register for free. “We are promoting to our youth the benefits of physical activity on personal mental health,” Mrs Milne said.
“We had a 50/50 split of adults and children and suspect the message is getting out there with current registration numbers indicating more children signing up.”
Mrs Milne said a massive thank you needed to go out to Shae Hunt, manager of Portarlington and Drysdale Community Bank, for sharing in their vision to get more kids moving and sponsoring the event.
Everybody who participates and finishes the 4km also reap in all the benefits of those competing in the longer distances of 10km and 21km with a medal and race bib starting and finishing with the runners under the arch.
For more information, head to bellarinesunsetrun.com.