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While you were sleeping, these folks set off in the fog on a 42km run


Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes


There was a lot of limbering in the fog on Sunday morning as more than 120 people readied themselves for a 42km run.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Backs were stretched, ankles were rotated, legs were bent into various positions. The competitors ranged in age from their teens through to "old enough to know better".

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

A man named Bobby, who was at the more mature end of the spectrum, was interviewed before the start of the race.


He had done 293 marathons. Today was 294.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

The marathon was one of the highlights of the Orange Running Festival, which attracted hundreds of competitors, and hundreds more family, friends and onlookers across the weekend.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

The festival's base was Gosling Creek Reserve.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Starting time was about 7am. After completing part of the internal Gosling Creek loop, runners exited onto Forest Road and headed south.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Following the completion of loops down Orchard, Forest Reefs and Spring Terrace roads, they returned to Gosling Creek Reserve along Forest Road.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Upon re-entering Gosling Creek Reserve they were to complete the internal Gosling Creek loop to the finish line.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Those who considered cutting corners, as many learned to do at compulsory primary school cross countries, were out of luck.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Participants had to wear an "assigned numbered timing transponder" during the race. The transponders allowed organisers to track the runners and log official times.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

"You're going to have a wonderful course," an organiser told the runners in the minutes leading up to the starting horn being blown by federal MP Andrew Gee. "It's all on tar, you're gonna go hard.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

"I'd say the last 12 k coming back you'll have beautiful scenery, as the fog lifts, looking back towards Mount Canobolas; you'll see cows in the paddock, and they'll be calling out to you; sheep in the fields have all been shorn so they look nice for you; and also all the fields are nice and green."

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

It was stirring stuff.

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Gee took the microphone briefly to welcome those who had travelled to Orange, and to wish the runners all the best.


"Massive respect to you; I couldn't do it."

Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

The Orange Runners Club spent nine months preparing for the festival.


Orange City Council CEO David Waddell was on a bike, and led the runners through the first few kilometres of the course.





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