As the 2017 McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival draws closer, we reflect on the ‘Top 5 Moments’ that shaped our event in 2016.

  1. More than $50,000 raised for various charities including  Huntington’s Disease

An estimated $50,000 was raised for various charities through the generous support of many who competed in the 2016 McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival, including our official charity Ronald McDonald Children’s Charity, which raised more than $12,389.

Brisbane based Kelly Stamnas travelled to Townsville to compete in the Half Marathon on, as part of a challenge to run three half marathons in seven weeks. Running with her mother and daughter in the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival, the trio raised $11,000  and awareness for the very rare Huntington’s Disease, in honour of Kelly’s grandmother who at the age of 88 is one of the oldest sufferers.

  1. A first for 10km runner

Chris Bracken took out the Townsville Road Runners 10K Classic, ahead of four time Olympic runner, Craig Mottram.

“It felt good,” Bracken said. “I was delighted to get a win. I was hoping to run quicker but it was a warm day today. It means a lot to get a win as I’ve had a few seconds, a third and fourth in races around Australia, so I was very happy.”

Bracken completed the 10K in 32min 2 sec, ahead of Craig Mottram who clocked 33 mins, 31 secs. Mottram said it was a challenge. “Conditions on the course were tough, due to humidity,” said Mottram.  “Chris did a great job, he set the pace early and well done to him, it’s humid out there, believe it or not.”

  1. Local Marathon Runners Win Iwaki Trip

Local marathon runners Sam Stedman and Sonja Schonfeldt-Roy won tickets to Iwaki to compete in the Sunshine Marathon. As the best performing male and female local runners in the Tony Ireland Townsville Marathon, the pair will represent Townsville and the region as part of the Townsville City Council’s Sister City relationship.

The 2016 McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival has enjoyed its largest geographical reach in the event’s history, with 77 international competitors, giving the event a true international flavour.

  1. Hobart Runner Takes Out Townsville Marathon, Ten Push Ups to Celebrate

Dejen Gebreselassie made history as the youngest participant to win the Townsville Marathon in the event’s 18 year history.

In his first professional marathon, 23 year old Gebreselassie conquered the feature race of the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival, clocking 2:39:19 ahead of Townsville local, Sam Stedman who placed second with 2:43:59 and Jonathon Camilleri from Mount Sheridan 2:48:24.

Dejen Gebreselassie, explained “The race really tested me mentally but I really appreciate the people, they are the best people ever, they cheered me on. If it wasn’t for them I would not have finished the race.”

  1. 213,343 Chinese to Ran the Townsville Running Festival

More than 213,000 Chinese running enthusiasts participated in the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival marathon as “virtual” competitors.

Using a virtual marathon App, Codoon, people are able to registered for the event worldwide. As a virtual competitor, participants run the 42km course using the App in their own place of residency, recording their time as if they were physically in Townsville, running in the marathon.

To date, this is the third largest virtual marathon in the world.

Registrations for the  McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival are open now, ahead of race day on Saturday 6 August 2017.