The 2019 Bay to Bay Running Festival saw more than 3,000 runners put their heels to the pavement on June 16 to raise funds for Central Coast based charities.
Back for its 16th instalment, The Bay to Bay 2019 saw a record number of runners descend on the Woy Woy waterfront to make the dash to Gosford’s Central Coast stadium or near about, in one of the festival’s three recurring events, the half marathon, the 12km fun run and the 2km kid’s fun run.
After the success of the 2018 festival, event organisers also introduced a 5km fun run/walk event to the line-up for the first time.
This year’s winners circle included, Scott Westcott and Anna Heath, who won the Men’s and Women’s half marathon, Rose Davies, who won the Women’s 12km fun run, and, Zac Roberts and Melanie McDonald, who placed first in the Men’s and Women’s 5km event.
North Avoca’s, Jack Colreavy, claimed first in the Men’s 12km fun run for the fourth time.
While figures for funds raised are still being finalised, Race Director, Jenny Barker, said the Festival Committee was hopeful that this year’s result will break into the six figures, given the record participation.
“Last year’s festival raised $90,764 for local charities, but with this year having the best attendance of the festival yet, we’re excited to learn the final figure,” Barker said.
When asked about the popularity of this year’s event, Barker put it down to the Bay to Bay being unique in its family oriented approach.
“One of the big things about these types of events is how hard it can be to coordinate for parents,” Barker said.
“The inclusion of the 5km event as well as the changing in the time of the kids 2km event meant that more families that wanted to run together could, and parents that wanted to participate in the half marathon or the 12km event had more time and options to plan their day,” she said.
The army of volunteers that always assist the Committee in making the festival a success also played a big part.
“One of the recurring bits of feedback we keep getting is just how positive and helpful our volunteers are.
“They really left an impact which reflects on the event and we couldn’t have done it without them.
“It’s nice to be known as the happy festival,” Barker said.
Major charities for the 2019 festival include Camp Breakaway, the Central Coast Local Health District and St Brendan Catholic School’s The Hive program.
Barker said the final figure would be revealed later this month at special community barbecue in Terrigal.
Interview and website, Jun 19
Jenny Barker, Bay to Bay Running Festival Committee
Dilon Luke, Journalist