An event for all ages and all abilities

5th July 2017 7:00 AM
Greater Bank Casino Fun Run launch with stakeholders and future competitors ready to take on the challenge. Greater Bank Casino Fun Run launch with stakeholders and future competitors ready to take on the challenge. Samantha Elley

HER voice choked up as Eileen Byers talked about her passion for running and how it changed her life.

The proud Bunjalung woman was at the launch of the 2017 Greater Bank Casino Fun Run and recounted how she managed to get on the Indigenous team that tackled the New York marathon.

"I had no running experience and I was overweight," she said.

"I needed to do something with my lifestyle and thought I would run a marathon."

Ms Byers told how she saw an ad in a newspaper for candidates for the Indigenous Marathon Foundation and decided to enter.

"I trialled in Coffs Harbour and made the squad," she said.

"My first competition was in Canberra, then we did a 21km run on the Gold Coast, the City to Surf (in Sydney) and 30km at Alice Springs."

With her six months of training Ms Byers made the squad and ran in New York, but her main message at the launch today was how running can change someone's life.

"My back ground was alcohol and smoking," she said.

"Now (running) has given me more confidence and taken me out of my comfort zone."

President of Little Athletics Casino, Peta Moloney is encouraging people of all ages and all abilities to get active at the fun run on September 17.

"In 2014 we had more than 300 participants," she said.

"In 2017 anyone can enter and they can run it, walk it or even just jog it."

This is the fourth year of the fun run and there is still the choice of the Casino RSM 10km, Greater Bank 5km or Parker & Kissane 2km runs.

"We are pleased to feature the inaugural Schools Challenge supported by local schools int he 5km and 2km events," Ms Moloney said.

She said there was a definite interest building amongst schools, gyms and the local community.

"The event is truly a running festival with a picturesque course.

"I'd like to thank major sponsors Greater Bank, Richmond Valley Council, Casino RSM Club, Parker & Kissane and RunNSW."

Brothers Keegan Hancock, 10 and Toby Hancock, 7 have already started training.

While Keegan has run in previous Casino Fun Runs, this year will be Toby's first time.

Early bird entries are just $12 for kids and $22 for 5km or $30 for the 10km event for adults.

There will be medals for major age categories in each of the three runs and two perpetual trophies will be awarded to school teams in the 2km and 5km events.

For more information or to enter visit www.casinofunrun.com.au.

Funds raised will benefit Little Athletics Casino and the Starlight Foundation.