NUMBERS were down but spirits were high at the 44th Edgell Jog, which got under way Sunday morning.
Around 650 runners entered the event, which was down from 787 last year, still organisers were happy with the day.
The jog attracts entrants from all backgrounds from elite athletes to those who walk the course.
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Edgell Jog committee member Ian Pellow, said while numbers were down, they were still happy with the turn out.
"We've got roughly 650 entrants, we were hoping for 800, but last night's rain may have deterred a few people.
"Still we are really happy, it's a solid number."
Declining participating rates have been an ongoing issue for the committee, but Mr Pellow said he believed figures were high enough for the event to remain viable.
That big hill, I'm not sure what it's called but it's big and it keeps going.Lauren Reid, first female runner home, on the hardest part of the run.
"This is a great community event and we'd like to keep it going.
"It's a family event, and something that people look forward to every year. It brings people to Bathurst from all over the region," he said.
Sunday's conditions were perfect for the 7.5 kilometre course, with Mr Pellow expecting to see some good times set.
Lauren Reid, who was first female runner over the line, said the course was tough, with 'heartbreak hill' a testing feature.
"The big hill, I'm not sure what it's called, but it's big and it keeps going," she said.
James Harrison, who dominated the race in the 80s and 90s, achieving five firsts, three seconds and two third placings, returned to do the jog for the first time in 18 years, recording a time of 29.30.
Mr Harrison, now 55, said it was great to be back, but said Esrom Street really tested him.
"That hill, it's as tough as I remember it."