McDonalds Townsville Running Festival Marathon Winners Sam Steadman and Sonja Schonfeldt are gearing up to compete in the Iwaki Sunshine Marathon in February.

As the winners of the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festivals Sister City Competition, the duo are doing all they can to prepare for the freezing conditions that await them as them embark on the marathon in the midst of the Japanese winter.

Sam and Sonja were the first male and female to cross the line in the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival Marathon in August this year. Their prize was the opportunity to represent Townsville in the Iwaki Sunshine Marathon in 2017.

Townsville City Council Sister City Committee representative Cr Anne-Marie Greaney said the competition was a great way to link the Sister Cities through these run events.

“Townsville City Council was very happy to facilitate this Sister City opportunity,” said Cr Greaney. “We were also very grateful to the many locals who supported the Iwaki runners who we hosted during their stay for the Townsville Running Festival. We are now eagerly anticipating our local runners’ participation in the Iwaki run.”

Sonja Schonfeldt said she is following a strict training regime ahead of the event but very excited about travelling to Iwaki.

“It will be my first time visiting Japan, and a totally new experience.  Friends have suggested I start training in a cold room on a treadmill to prepare for the temperatures in Iwaki, but I’m not sold on the idea yet”, she laughs.

The duo will travel to Iwaki early February ahead of the Sunshine Marathon on 12 February.

For more information on the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival please