Get ready, get set, go! One of Canberra’s favourite annual running events is back on track for a return in November.
The 13th Stromlo Running Festival will see four running events, including a 2.5km kids run, with plenty of fun across two days.
The last event, held earlier this year in March, attracted more than 2000 registrations. Stromlo Running Festival race director Mel Bingley said registrations for the November event were already going strong.
“This event will give runners really broad exposure to everything that Stromlo Forest Park has to offer,” she said.
“We have these incredible nature parks, Stromlo Forest Park and the National Arboretum, they are two treasures of Canberra that we want to expose locals to and, bring more visitors to our beautiful city.
“The Festival just keeps growing and growing and it’s really exciting to see our neighbours from around the region, and interstate participants come together. They can really get a taste of everything that Canberra’s got to offer through extending their stay around their event.”
Ms Bingley said 2022 was a “double banger” as the event is usually only held once a year.
“We held a postponed event from November 2021 in March this year, because we couldn’t hold it last year due to COVID,” she said.
“Now that we’ve returned to a somewhat normal life, that means large mass participation events like the Stromlo Running Festival can return.”
The upcoming festival, to be held on 19 and 20 November will feature longer endurance races – 30 kilometres and 50 kilometres – on the Saturday, and Sunday will see the 10 kilometre race and 2.5 kilometre Kids Run.
“The 10 kilometre course has no limits. It’s an open event where people can register and walk it, run it or they can do the combination,” Ms Bingley said.
“Sunday is shaping up to be a really family-friendly day with the Kids Run, we can’t wait.”
The race director said this was the first time the Kids Run would return since pre-pandemic times.
“It’s a two-and-a-half kilometre cross country race, it’s very family-friendly,” Ms Bingely said.
“There are no awards for first place and every kid gets a medal and a Zooper Dooper at the finish.
“I’m hoping, or if not, mandating my five-year-old twins and eight year old to compete, they’re the perfect age to do so. It’s just such a great opportunity for kids to get involved and return after that two-year hiatus.”
As well as hosting running events across the two days, entertainment will be provided by BoomBox2U, and Handlebar Café will be on site to refuel post race.
“This is a well organised, high class event,” Ms Bingley said.
“There’s a great vibe, it’s really supportive and inclusive and has something for everyone.
“If people aren’t looking to run this year, they can still be part of the festival by volunteering, those opportunities will open soon.”
Ms Bingley said the event was an “absolute highlight of the Canberra year”.
“I remember my first trail runs, and you don’t forget those experiences and that sense of achievement,” she said.
“Whether it’s a 10 kilometre walk, or it’s a 50 kilometre ultra run, they’re significant achievements and goals.
“As the race director, I’m really privileged to facilitate that and be part of someone’s goals.”
The Stromlo Running Festival will be held on 19 to 20 November at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra. Each runner who registers before 31 July will receive a free t-shirt (valued at $35). To find out more, or register to participate, visit Stromlo Running Festival.