A COVID-FORCED year off in 2021 hasn't dulled the interest in the Mount Panorama Punish running event.
(min cost $8)
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With about six weeks until the event's return, more than 700 entries have been taken already - and that includes entrants who will be coming from overseas.
"We've got people flying in from as far as the UK and New Zealand to come for this meet up and to experience running around a track that they'd normally only see on TV for motor racing events," Mount Panorama Punish co-race director Jenn Arnold said.
"It's definitely a unique event: that hook of being able to run on Mount Panorama really gets people excited."
The inaugural Mount Panorama Punish - in which entrants run a lap of the iconic circuit - was held in 2017 and featured a field of more than 550 participants.
The 2020 event, in the first year of COVID, was limited to competitors within the region, while the 2021 event was called off due to the uncertainty of COVID restrictions.
Race entries are capped at 1200 this year and, as well as overseas participants, Ms Arnold and fellow race director Stephen Jackson say entries are coming in from South Australia and Victoria and there is already quite a large contingent from Queensland.
"It just goes to show how people are excited to be getting back to events, racing again and feeling that thrill of being part of such an exciting event," Mr Jackson said.
Though the chance to run around the iconic racetrack is a lure, Mr Jackson and Ms Arnold say there's a bit of hard work involved as well.
"There's a 30 minute cut-off to get to the top, but this far out, with a bit of training, it's certainly achievable for many people," Ms Arnold said.
"It's so exciting to see people at the finish line, thrilled that they completed a race they perhaps didn't think was possible for them."
They say similar races in the region are reporting plenty of late entries, so people who want to take part are encouraged to enter early so as not to miss out.
Ms Arnold said all finishers will receive a medal designed in the shape of the Mount Panorama track and will also receive a stubby cooler and water as they cross the finish.
Adult, child and family entries are available and teams are encouraged to enter.
The Mount Panorama Punish will be held on Sunday, October 23.
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