Thursday, 13 July 2017

Blacktown City Council - Media Release - Family Gears Up For Running Festival

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12 July, 2017

For the Olbrichs of Rouse Hill, running is a family affair.

On Sunday July 30, Thomas Olbrich and his three children Chelsea, Emalee and Mitchell, will line up for the 12th Westlink M7 Blacktown Running Festival.

They will be cheered on by their one-woman “support crew”, mum Jill.

“It’s good for the kids,” Mr Olbrich said.

“That’s the main reason I do it. When my 18-year-old son first started he used to be behind me.

“Now he’s in front of me and the younger two are closer to me now too.

“It’s a good incentive for them: if this old man can do it, I can too.”

The family is competing in the 5km race, which starts and ends at the Blacktown International Sportspark.

For the past three years, Mitchell has finished in the top three, and in 2014 he won the race.

This year, he’s hoping to repeat his success.

“I’m injury free, so hopefully it goes well,” he said.

“Just to finish the race is the main goal, but a top three place would be nice.”

Mr Olbrich said the family , who are all members of the Hills Seniors Athletics Club, 
enjoyed the camaraderie of the event.

“There are lots of other running groups taking part, so it’s always a good day,” he said.

“There is an array of runners, from elite athletes to people like myself who are going for fitness and to encourage the younger generation to come through.”

Mayor of Blacktown City Stephen Bali also encouraged everyone to get involved.

“There is a race for everyone from professional athletes to families and kids just having a go,” he said.

“We have 2km walks for parents and little kids, 5km and 10km races, right up to the half marathon and marathon for elite runners.”

More than 460 people have registered for the running festival so far, including a group of five runners who are competing in their 12th consecutive Blacktown marathon.

“This says a lot about the popularity of the event,” said Mayor Bali.

“We will be doing something special to recognise their achievement.”

marathon, half marathon and 10km race are all IAAF/AIMS Certified Accurate and the event is a member of AIMS (Association of International Marathons & Distance Races).

Race day entries welcome.

Event Information
Date: Sunday, 30 July 2017
Location: Blacktown International Sports Park, Rooty Hill – Athletics Facility.
Start times:
6:45am     Start of marathon (42.195km)
7:15am     Start of half marathon (21.1km)
7:40am     Start of 10km run/walk
7:50am     Start of 5km run/walk
7:55am     Start of kid’s marathon 2km

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Thomas Olbrich with his children: Emalee, 13, Chelsea, 11 and Mitchell, 18.
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The Olbrich children Mitchell, 18, Chelsea, 11, Emalee, 13, with their father Thomas and Mayor of Blacktown City, Stephen Bali.

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