3 Bays winners plan title defence
ORGANISERS at the Portland Runners Club are hard at work putting the final preparations together ahead of the 2019 3 Bays Running Festival, which is now just two weeks away.
Spread across November 2-3, there’s going to be something for everyone at this year’s edition of the 3 Bays.
On the Saturday, the festival kicks off with the trail ultra marathon, a 60-kilometre course taking competitors from Bridgewater Lakes to the foreshore of Portland Bay in a gruelling journey along the Great South West Walk track.
On the Sunday the racing continues with the weekend’s traditional marathon (42.2km), as well as half distance (21.1km) and quarter distance (10.5km) events. All these distances are available to both runners and walkers, while the popular relay section will also be held over the marathon distance.
Taking on Sunday’s full-distance marathon will be David Staehr and Serena Wooldridge, the winners of the men’s and women’s events in 2018.
Staehr, from Kaniva, has been a regular on the podium at 3 Bays for a number of years – winning three (2015, 2016, 2018) of the past four events in an impressive athletic resume.
Staehr, a 42-year-old teacher, finished last year’s event in 2 hours 47 minutes and 20 seconds in a milestone result – completing his 50th marathon in 10 years.
Returning to the region and aiming for a fourth win at 3 Bays will be 48-year-old Patterson Lakes café owner Serena Wooldridge.
Wooldridge took up competitive running after overcoming breast cancer 13 years ago, with that victory over illness her burning motivation to remain competitive and active.
Wooldridge is aiming to make it four on the trot in 2019 as she continues to follow her passion for long-distance running.