Former CSU student and Olympian long distance runner Ben St Lawrence is set to be the main attraction when Mayfield Garden hosts the Gateway 2 Garden event on Sunday.
Dedicated to Fitness’ Mark Simons is expecting numbers anywhere from 300 to 500 and with St Lawrence being the headline runner, he believes it will attract even more runners to come out.
Simons said it’s also an unique opportunity for runners to get out and see the gardens.
“Traditionally, people who visit Mayfield come and see the beauty of the gardens. But from an event’s perspective, it’s a great combination of beauty and the pressure that comes with running,” he said.
“It can take your mind of the arduous nature of climbing those hills and pushing through those harder parts of the course.
“We’re all about pushing people to do their own personal best and challenge themselves.”
There are two different courses – a five kilometre circuit and a 10 kilometre circuit – competitors can choose from.
The five kilometre circuit is a loop of the garden, with runners who participate in the 10 kilometre circuit to do two loops.
The finish line will be in front of the obelisk, a familiar sight for people who have been to the garden.
Some sections of the circuit reaches up to 1040 metres above sea levels.
Simons is hoping the event can become one of the iconic running events in Central West, up there with the likes of the Mount Panorama Punish and the Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge
Simons, alongside Mayfield chief executive officer Hamish Keith, saw the event as an opportunity to get people who were involved in fitness out to Mayfield for something other than garden-related reason.
“Running is becoming a real pastime where you can go out and run with your family and kids. That’s what we’re encouraging,” he said.
“You don’t even have to run. You can walk this and still take in the panorama that is in front of you.”
After successful runs out at Mayfield in previoys years, Simon said he wanted to improve the event by offering prize money to competitors and test entrants against each other.
The event is free for Dedicated to Fitness members, while it costs $10 if participants are not a member.
Children under six-years-old get in for free and dogs are welcome as well, with Mayfield Garden located at 530 Mayfield Road, roughly 15 minutes west of Oberon.
The event starts at 9am and registrations close on Thursday, at www.webscorer.com/register?raceid=126007.