Lakes Trail Festival showcases stunning Myall Coast

Nothing like an early morning run through dozens of kilometres of bush and beach.

RUNNERS came out in droves for the Lakes Trail Festival on Saturday 6 July, starting at Providence Bay Park, Hawks Nest.

In its third year, the Festival was conceived with the natural beauty of the area in sharp focus.

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“This Festival was started to showcase the Myall Lakes and Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest,” Race Director Richard Old, from operator Fully Rad Adventures, told NOTA.

“It has been deliberately put on at the start of the July holidays, with registration on Friday, the races on Saturday, and presentations on Sunday, and brings a lot into the towns, too, because we have some great local sponsors.

“Around 90 percent of the 220 racers are from out of town, with racers from New Zealand, Indonesia, even Germany, as well as many from interstate and across NSW.”

Bearing their camel-packs and skin-tight activewear, racers braced for the chilly July morning, assured that it was ‘excellent running weather’, most likely thankful that recent rains had abated for the day.

The Lakes Trail Festival runs five individual races with different overall lengths, including a respectable twelve kilometres (km), an intrepid 30km, a gruelling 50km, a slightly mad 70km, and the downright certifiable 100km course, which goes all the way out to Seal Rocks and back – all on foot.

There is also a one kilometre kids course.

The course was designed to deliberately take full advantage of the sensational coastline, including the bush up Mungo Brush, the pristine sands of Bennetts Beach, the reflective waters of the Myall Lakes, and even made use of the abandoned Hawks Nest-Seal Rocks Road, once used by historical sand mining operations in the region.

No matter the distance, runners could enjoy each others’ company, as well as that of several local volunteers, including a dozen Tea Gardens Lions members, who manned five traffic stations along Mungo Brush Road, and the checkpoint at Boomeri Point Campground.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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