Started by 3 locals, it is the 3rd oldest Fun Run in NSW and a much loved contribution to the lifestyle of North West NSW. The original course in 1974 included the competitors starting from outside the Tamworth Town Hall, running down Tamworth’s main street (Peel St), then turning into a hilly section in East Tamworth and returning to No 1 Oval. Back then it involved crossing the New England Highway three times with Police obligingly holding up the traffic.
Oh for those simple days….. Naturally the course has changed over the years.
The event has attracted some of the best runners in NSW in its 41 years. Names like Alby Thomas, John Stanley, Louis Young, Rod Higgins, Shaun Creighton, just for example. And in 1989 the famous ultra-marathoner Cliff Young delighted the crowds by running the event.
While times are not strictly comparable because the race is now over a flatter course, Rodney Higgins holds all time race record of 28.15 set in 1993. Daniel Green won the event 3 times in the 1990s. However the most number of wins in the event belongs to the internationally competitive triathlete from Gunnedah, Peter Loveridge, who has won the event 4 times in the past decade. And there has been some karma brought into the event. Unlucky multi runner up in the 1980s, Chris Perry, has had the pleasure of having his son Dominic win the event twice, 2007 & 2011.
And the women have shared in the glory too over the 40 years. Elizabeth Richards holds the all time course record of 35.42, unmatched since being set over the old hilly course in 1977. Local athlete Karen Beattie won the event 4 times in the 1990s and 3 women, Norma Ducker and Mary Murison in the early days and Nikko Siddons in the recent past have won the event 3 times.