Ton of fun in Lake Mac run

CENTURION: Alan McCloskey will run his 100th half-marathon at this year's Lake Mac Running Festival and will be one of over a dozen Lake Mac Legends recognised.

CENTURION: Alan McCloskey will run his 100th half-marathon at this year's Lake Mac Running Festival and will be one of over a dozen Lake Mac Legends recognised.

LOCAL SUPPORT: The Lake Macquarie Running Festival welcomes Ramsay Health Care as the new naming rights sponsor for the event this year.

LOCAL SUPPORT: The Lake Macquarie Running Festival welcomes Ramsay Health Care as the new naming rights sponsor for the event this year.

This year we are acknowledging our Lake Mac Legends, who are runners that have completed the course 10 or more times over the years.

Alan McCloskey will mark a special milestone at this year's Lake Macquarie Running Festival on August 25.

The well-known and respected local running coach will be running his 100th half marathon.

"These things creep up on you but it's a big milestone for me and I'm looking forward to it," Alan said.

"I'll be running with my daughter, who I've been running with for 26 years."

Trailing Alan will be his followers known as "Macca's Mob", sporting the distinctive sky blue running singlet.

"It's a significant effort," Lake Macquarie Running Festival organiser Chad Griffith said. "He was going to rack it up at another event in September but when he realised the Warners Bay event presented the opportunity to do it in August, he leapt at that opportunity to do it at a local event."

Alan will be one over over a dozen "Lake Mac Legends" recognised at this year's event. The Lake Macquarie Running Festival races around the shores of Warners Bay and is one of the oldest running events in the athletics calendar. This year marks its 35th anniversary. Held on the last Sunday of August every year, the event has seen the likes of Steve Moneghetti, triathletes like Kirsten Molloy and local speedster Vlad Shatova take to the course over the years, cementing it as one of the peak athletic events in the Hunter Region.

This year the festival will recognise some of the runners who have been taking part in the event over the years.

"This year we are acknowledging our Lake Mac Legends, who are runners that have completed the course 10 or more times over the years," Mr Griffith said.

"Along with Alan, we have runners like John McCain who have been with us from the very beginning, and at 79 years old, John is still running. It's awesome.

"At the moment, there's about 15 Lake Mac Legends expected to compete.

"We have been part of people's running calendar since 1983 in Lake Macquarie, and we've seen other events come and go, but the Lake Mac Run has stood the test of time. People love running along the beautiful shores of the lake and we've got one of the fastest courses going around, so the times are always quick."

In another coup for the event, Steve Moneghetti is definitely confirmed to run, having last competed in 2000.

"He won the half-marathon back then. He ran the City to Surf in Sydney last weekend and at this stage I believe he is still working out if he will run the 10km or the half-marathon.

"Which ever he chooses, I imagine he will still be competitive."

The Lake Macquarie Running Festival welcomes Ramsay Health Care as the new naming rights sponsor for the event this year.

Mr Griffith said the longevity of the event is due to continued local sponsorship and support. "We couldn't continue to run events of this size, without the support of sponsors and volunteers and we have been very lucky over the years," he said.

"We continue to raise money for the NICU at the John Hunter Childrens' Hospital with this event, and we love that people of all abilities and ages come along to take part in what is now an iconic event for our region."

The Ramsey Health Service Lake Macquarie Running Festival will be held on Sunday, August 25 on the foreshore of Warners Bay Esplanade, and includes events such as the Pure Performance 21.1km Half Marathon, Coal Services 10.5km Fun Run and Yogurtland 4km Kids Scamper.

Find out more at www.lakemacrunning.com.

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