Full marathon for the Barossa

CHEERS: Stephen Cook, wine manager for Jacob’s Creek toasts sponsorship of the inaugural Barossa Marathon with Terry Leach, event organiser.
CHEERS: Stephen Cook, wine manager for Jacob’s Creek toasts sponsorship of the inaugural Barossa Marathon with Terry Leach, event organiser.

The SA Road Runners Club has decided to introduce a marathon to its popular event in May.

The decision follows from the success of the Jacob’s Creek Barossa Half Marathon.

SA Road Runners president, Terry Leach, said the club had been thinking about this for some time.

“After last year, when we had nearly 1000 participants in the 5k, 10k and 21.1k events, we knew it was time to take the plunge,” Terry said.

“There has been strong interest in the event, with enquiries being fielded from overseas and interstate even before entries have opened.”

Everyone is invited to participate in the inaugural Jacob’s Creek Barossa Marathon on May 27.

While only one per cent of people will ever run the full distance of 42.2km, the day will include 5km, 10km and half marathon events for runners and walkers.

To assist Barossans to get ready for the event, the SA Road Runners Club will be providing a 10-week ‘start running’ program in association with The Rex which will prepare participants to participate in either the 5km or 10km events.

The event is also a fund raiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of South Australia, which provides services for people with neuromuscular disorders.

For each $100 raised by participants, they receive an entry into the draw for a trip to New York to compete in the New York Marathon.

Local Mandy Gerhardy won the prize last year and had the experience of a lifetime.

The Jacob’s Creek Barossa Marathon will start at Faith Lutheran College, with the course running through Bethany and Tanunda, along the bike path to Nuriootpa, and up the rail trail towards Angaston, before returning to Faith.

“The course is incredibly scenic with the vines in their autumn glory, showcasing the best of the Barossa, while still being a good course for running,” Terry said.

“Putting together a good marathon course is a balancing act between traffic management and even grades while trying to include beautiful scenery. The Barossa is blessed to be able to combine these so well.”

The 10-week ‘start running’ program will be held on Sunday mornings and starts on March 18, with instruction by a qualified personal trainer. More classes may be scheduled depending on demand.

For $55, Barossa residents will receive full country membership of the SA Road Runners which entitles them to discounted entry to all SA Road Runner events (including the Jacob’s Creek Barossa Marathon) plus enrolment in a generous membership benefits program. However, the program is free to The Rex members.

The success of this event has been built on strong community support.

“We have been fortunate to have strong support over the years from the Barossa Council, Little Athletics, Nuriootpa Scouts and of course Jacob’s Creek,” Terry said.

“We look forward to building on these relationships over the coming years.”

For more information visit www.barossamarathon.com.au or telephone the SA Road Runners Club on 8363 7377.