The parks and forests surrounding our towns offer a range of outdoor activities that encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy nature. In recent years, there has been an increase in sports activities in and around our towns, particular those that feature our hills and trails in feats of endurance and skill. For many years events such as Oxfam Trailwalkers have bought many people to the valley and our own Warburton Up and Running, which will be held for the twelfth year this coming Sunday 22 February, has seen participant numbers grow rapidly from less than 100 in the first year, to last year’s record 700 people. The 2015 event is expected to attract up to 1000 entries.
A defining feature, and drawcard, is the natural beauty of our forests, and this is a resource that the Upper Yarra Valley can boast as a unique point of difference. So not only do our local events attract our community, they also draw many visitors to our region as participants, support services and spectators.
The running world has also taken notice and we are now drawing national events to our mountains. The Big Forest Run held its first ‘trial’ event last April and an annual event, the Victorian Trail Running Festival, is now on the calendar for the first weekend of November. Not only do these events bring many economic benefits to our towns, but they also raise our profile on a national, and often, world stage.
We are proud to partner with Warburton Up and Running, who this year are renaming their event the Community Bank Warburton Up and Running. Our sponsorship helped this event get started and now with it established on the national running calendar as a ‘must do’ event, our funding helps with prizes, promotion and operational costs. And as a double bonus, any profits from this event go to local service organisations such as the Upper Yarra SES and the Warburton CFA, who provide marshalls for the events.
So this February, run, walk, jog, volunteer or spectate but be sure to support Community Bank Warburton Up and Running – on of the great resources our town has to offer and a credit to the organisers.
More info www.warburtonupandrunning.com.au