ORGANISERS will reward the growing number of runners aged 16 years and under in Sunday week's annual 11 kilometre Brooks/Caltex Sutherland to Surf fun run, on July 22.
More than 5000 expected runners are in this age group out of 7000 entries for the Sutherland to Surf, organised by the Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club, so a big turnout is likely.
Tradies Fitness First will again sponsor the Pro Sprint, with the first 200 fastest-seeded to lead off the runners and walkers.
As the race organiser, the Wanda club (where the runners will finish) is conscious about encouraging participation within the community, especially the youth of today who struggle increasingly with obesity.
So a new category is being launched, the Veolia Water Youth (16 and under), with great prizes of $250 for the first male and female, $200 Brooks footwear voucher for the second placegetters, and a $150 Brooks Sports Pack, courtesy of Southside Runners, for third.
"Wanda is proud to be the organizer for 41 years of this great community event. We take pride in our role as a community based charity," said club president Anita Pryke.
Funds raised from the big event will support Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club and other charities like the Love Mercy Foundation, where 200 runners will take part this year to help Uganda's war refugees and its poor.
Sutherland's London Olympics 10,000-metre runner, Eloise Wellings — now in the UK — set up the foundation, and says it is offering a free trip to Fiji for the best fundraiser, along with a lucky draw prize after the fun run and barbecue.
Fitness organisations increasingly see the race as a milestone for their clients in their personal training programs, with more than 30 fitness companies entering teams.
Rob Hale, a Fitness First manager, said a challenging training goal like a 10 kilometre run is an important part of a healthy workout program as it "keeps self-motivation levels high [and] provides variety to the normal weekly exercise routine by conditioning your body to do something different".
"It also has a deadline which encourages that regular exercise habit to keep going even through the busiest of schedules," he said.
Caltex Kurnell Refinery has a team of 100 employees and family members entered in this year's race. To help employees prepare, the refinery ran a six-week cardiovascular fitness program.
Details: Mick Brannock, (race
co-ordinator) 0407 249 052 or Anita Pryke (Wanda SLSC president) 0414 783 180; online entries: sutherland2surf.com.au