Merimbula Fun Run building momentum

Former Bega athlete Russell Dessaix-Chin gets a good start during his 2016 win of the Bega Fun Run and will be a top contender for the Merimbula event.

Former Bega athlete Russell Dessaix-Chin gets a good start during his 2016 win of the Bega Fun Run and will be a top contender for the Merimbula event.

Bega Fun Run champion Russell Dessaix-Chin will be a top contender for the Merimbula Fun Run crown next weekend. 

The former Bega athlete returned home in 2016 to run the Bega event and set a blistering pace that, if he can match it in Merimbula, could see him go close to a course record. 

Bradley Croker holds the current 10km course record at 30 minutes and 52 seconds, while Dessaix-Chin topped the Bega layout in 31 minutes. 

For the ladies, lap record holder Steph Auston will be back in action, but organisers said she would just cruise to the pace of the course after taking on a 50km run this weekend. 

Canberra’s Josh Torley will be another runner to watch, while Queensland marathon champion Leanne Pompeani will make her debut in the Fun Run. 

Event director Donella Roberts said there were already hundreds of entries online, but there is still time to get your name down. 

“Entries are open online right up to Friday the 26th,” Roberts said. 

“We’re very excited about the launch of the kids’ run this year, it means we’ve got everyone covered and it’s helping build the family day.

“It’s professionally timed so you get your exact time, every finisher receives a special medal and we’ll have coffee and catering there on the day so it’s a fantastic family atmosphere.”

Roberts said the course would follow some of the most scenic routes around Merimbula with loops around the lake, “the view for the runners is wonderful, it’s all lakeside and very scenic,” she said. 

Roberts said there would also be road closures in place for the event to both ensure safety, but provide the runners a bit of freedom to move around along the course and really just take in the sights as they completed the run. 

The Fun Run includes a 10km Open event that launches from Merimbula’s Ford Park and will loop right out to the Merimbula Wharf and back again. 

The five-kilometre event will follow the same path, but has a return point along beach street, while the shorter kids event will loop fishpen before returning to Ford Park. 

“The race times are staggered so the very-competitive can contest both the 10km and 5km, but also some of the parents will be able to head out with their youngsters on the 2km events,” Ms Roberts said. 

The 10km event will head off at 8am, before the 5km event at 9am and the kids’ dash at 9.45am.

“Events like the Fun Run can’t go ahead without the amazing support we get from the community and volunteers,” she said. 

You can register online at sapphirecoastrunners.com.au/merimbulafunrun.

Late entrants will be able to register on the day, but you must be at Ford Park well in advance of your chosen event to sign up. 

“Come and join us for a fun morning and we hope to see you all there,” Roberts said. 

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