Hundreds of participants from across Australia will put their feet to the street this Sunday for the OneFortyOne Blue Lake Fun Run hosted by the Lakes Rotary Club.
This year’s events will include the 3.2km Cave Gardens/Thugi Dash, 6.8km Mount Gambier/Berrin Run, 10.4km Blue Lake/Warwar Run and 21.1km Lakes and Craters Half Marathon.
The half marathon will start the day off at 7am followed by the 10.4km at 8am, the 6.8km at 8.15am and the 3.2km at 8.30am.
Every runner who finishes in any category will receive a medallion made from pine, with $1000 worth of prize-money awarded to the top three male and female competitors in the 21.1km Lakes and Craters Half Marathon.
OneFortyOne Blue Lake Fun Run Committee chair Mark Praolini said entries had been slower then he would expect so far, especially in regards to schools and larger team entries.
“Last year we had about 650 competitors which is a lot lower than what we normally do, we normally get about 950, even up to 1000 at some stages,” he said.
“We have got a number of teams registered which has been quite good, there’s been some big teams,” Mr Praolini said.
“We would have hoped to have some more from the schools though, so I am hoping to see a bit of an influx from the schools because that was slow getting up and going.
“I’m expecting the schools to come in at the last minute and some of the larger teams as well, so again (we are) hopeful that will pick up.
“We have prizes for the schools so we’ll be able to give various prizes of around $500 of sporting equipment.”
Mr Praolini said team prizes have also been introduced this year, with $200 for the team that covers the most kilometres in total, $200 for the best dressed team and $200 for one lucky entry team up for grabs.
The call has also gone out for people who wish to donate their time on the day.
“We have got most of the volunteers in place, we could always use a few extra volunteers and a few extra registrants but everything else is in place,” Mr Praolini said.
Last year’s inaugural addition of the Lakes and Craters Half Marathon is also attracting entrants from far and wide this year.
“We are getting people from Melbourne, Victor Harbor, Geelong and places in between,” Mr Praolini said.
“It is certainly reaching out to quite some distance.
“It brings people into town so that’s great, that’s part of it actually, getting people into Mount Gambier and spending the weekend here as well, that’s always a good thing about the fun run.
“Certainly, people coming out of town from that distance would need accommodation and so forth.
“We normally have a few people from out of town but I have just got a sense there’s more this year.”
The profits from the Blue Lake Fun Run will be divided between seven local charities this year, including Limestone Coast Domestic Violence Service, Foodbank SA Limestone Coast, Limestone Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group, Mount Gambier Breast Cancer Awareness Group, Backstage Incorporated, Mount Gambier City Council Disadvantaged Youth Sports Scholarship and Mount Gambier Hospital Day Surgery.
“At this stage we make a reasonable amount from it because of the sponsors and so on and then we divide it on a needs basis,” Mr Praolini said.
For the first time, children eight years and under will be provided with a questionnaire to fill out while on the course to help enhance the experience, with five $30 vouchers up for grabs from The Book Place.
Mr Praolini said he would like to thank all the sponsors for their support of the event.
“We are lucky to have some great sponsors out there too, OneFortyOne, we have Carlin and Gazzard as a gold sponsor, we have got our lanyard sponsors who are Empak Homes, De Bruin Group, Illumident and Uni SA and then we have a number of silver sponsors as well,” he said.
“Without these sponsors this whole event would not be possible so they have been fantastic, we are very grateful for that and we have had a very hard-working committee.”
Last minute entries can still be made at www.bluelakefunrun.com.au but are now $10 extra than the original entry fee.